At least one in five landlords and tenants are not protected by client money protection (CMP), new figures show.
Fresh research from YouGov, undertaken for SAFEagent, reveals that collectively hundreds of thousands of pounds of landlord and tenants’ money held by letting agents are at risk because the funds are not protected by CMP.
Letting agents in the UK currently hold more than £2.7bn of landlord and tenants’ money in the form of rent and tenancy deposits, but at least 20% of landlords and tenants will not be able to recover their funds if an agent steals the cash or uses it fraudulently because their money is not protected under the CMP scheme.
With the research revealing that 61% of renters incorrectly believe their money is protected by law, the SAFEagent Awareness Week (6-10 June) kicks-off today hoping to highlight the importance of CMP for tenants and landords when letting through an agent.
Although mandatory CMP is now finally on the government’s agenda with amendments to the Housing and Planning Act, many consumers are still at risk, which is why SAFEagent is campaigning for full and mandatory CMP.
John Midgley, chair of SAFEagent, commented: “If an agent were to steal landlord or tenant money without CMP in place, there’s little chance of getting their money back.
“Would you use a travel agency who isn’t ABTA protected? Consumers who use agents without CMP in place are taking a massive risk.
“While we are finally getting closer to mandatory CMP, we aren’t there yet.
“It is so important that tenants and landlords understand that the right to redress only goes so far, and they need to choose their agent wisely by asking if they are part of a CMP scheme before signing on the dotted line.”
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