From April 1st 2019, all estate agents in England will have to be members of an approved client money protection scheme. If not, they will face fines and sanctions.
A welcome move we think, since unfortunately we still see plenty of small agents holding clients’ deposits and monies in non-insured, non-protected accounts, putting tenants’ funds at risk, were these businesses to fail for any reason.
At Simply London, as a relocation agent in London, whilst we try to minimise the risk by working with established estate agents who already use protected accounts, we do not have the luxury of choosing which agent represents the landlord of our clients’ chosen rental property.
It feels incredible that it has taken such a long time to implement this regulation, but this is part of a wider move to regulating letting agents in the private sector.
Another move this year will be to ban estate agents from charging tenants any fees for taking on or renewing a tenancy.