Client Money Protection

DATE OF ISSUE: MAY 31st 2019

Housing Minister supports Government report which calls for new measures to protect rental money
JGL Operations Ltd takes on new CMP cover to safeguard the money they handle for landlord and tenants in Lancashire.

Letting agents across the country will soon be required to protect rental monies through an approved Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme, following the recommendations made in a new Government report.

JGL Operations Ltd is already offering local landlords and tenants in Lytham & St. Annes enhanced levels of protection to safeguard to protect rental income from fraud and unlawful use.

Letting agents play a crucial role in passing on rental payments from the tenant to their landlord but there is currently no legal requirement for letting agents to take out any insurance to protect the rental money they handle.

The Housing Minister has responded to a parliamentary review of CMP and supported its recommendations to make CMP mandatory for agents in England that handle client money.

The report estimates that letting agents currently hold approximately £2.7 billion in client funds but found that very few landlords or tenants are aware of CMP and how it safeguards rental money if an agent goes bankrupt or attempts to use client funds fraudulently.

Gavin Barwell MP said the government will consult on details shortly, before posting a link to The CMP Report.

JGL Operations Ltd can now offer its landlords and tenants complete piece of mind that any client funds held by the branch is insured through a new Client Money Protection (CMP) insurance policy, which goes above and beyond current legal requirements to safeguard client funds.

The move has been praised by The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme, which provides a free, fair and impartial dispute resolution service to protect consumers from unfair practices and raise standards in the property industry.

Explaining their decision to take out ‘CMP’ with Client Money Protect, John Lever, Chairman of JGL Operations Ltd , said: Taking out Client Money Protection is very important in the lettings market. We are pleased that CMP has become compulsory for letting agents as of April 2019. At JGL our number one aim is to look after our Clients’ interests at all times.

The Government launched an official review into CMP in August 2016[1] to decide whether it should become a legal requirement for every letting agent to have CMP cover. As part of this review, TPO agreed to carry nationwide survey, which found just 11% of landlords ask how their rental money will be handled.

Gerry Fitzjohn, TPO’s Vice Chairman, said: “While there is legislation in place for agents to protect a tenant’s deposit by registering it with a government-backed protection scheme, there is no legal requirement to safeguard rental income and ensure the agent passes on a tenant’s rent to their landlord.

“It is essential that landlords and tenants only use agents that have CMP cover or a method that guarantees the rent collected by their agent is covered against fraud and unlawful use. I would always urge consumers to check the credentials of their agent to ensure their deposits and renal money is protected, and the firm is registered with TPO should a dispute arise.”

Further information can be found on Clientmoneyprotect’s website.