Client Money Protection to be available for all agents

iStock_000008970081XSmallClient Money Protection will soon be available to all letting agents for the first time, whether they are members of a recognised trade body or organisation or not.

Previously, official CMP was only available to members of such bodies, for example ARLA, RICS or the NALS. But with the launch of a new service called CM Protect, this trade body membership is no longer a pre-requisite.

However, one potential criticism of the scheme is that while it may bypass the need to join one of these pre-existing groups for sceptical agents, membership of CM Protect itself will be mandatory. The benefit of CMP will only be available to agents whilst they remain a member of the new organisation.

For agents who do choose to join the new scheme instead of one of the more august bodies, the CMP facility will allow them to reassure their tenants that their money is safe in the event of the agency itself going bust.

New Client Money Protection scheme "does not wish to compete" with trade bodies

Eddie Hooker, chief executive of CM Protect, said, "there are many reasons why a letting agent does not feel it should be a member of an industry trade body, such as educational obligations, but they should not be prevented from accessing this valuable protection which demonstrates an upholding of responsibility to clients and provides the reassurance of a well-run professional agency."

The director of operations for CM Protect, Ian Langley, said, "we do not wish to compete with the industry trade bodies as we recognise the importance and value of these in raising standards and would always encourage larger agents in particular to uphold this.

"However, we feel that there is a void in the market and we want to encourage those smaller agents, who are currently not protected by CMP, to act responsibly without having to take on the commitment of a trade body."

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