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Consultation announced for mandatory CMP

Wednesday 01 November 2017

It looks increasingly likely that Client Money Protection (CMP) will become mandatory for all letting agents in England as the Government launches a consultation on CMP inviting views and comments on how the rules should be designed, implemented and enforced.

After years of lobbying and a running a successful campaign on this matter, alongside ally Baroness Hayter in the House of Lords, we delighted that we have convinced the Government of the need for change. 

The consultation follows on from an announcement made by the Government during ARLA Conference this year, stating that they intended to use powers granted under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to make CMP mandatory. We are very pleased to see that the Government is moving forward with their proposals. 

While Propertymark members are already required to have CMP, this new measure will offer greater protection to consumers, improve the reputation of the sector and bring all agents up to the professional standards that we represent.

Specific mention is also given in the consultation explaining that The Draft Tenant Fees Bill announced recently will also amend the transparency requirements currently detailed in the Consumer Rights Act so that not only will agents have to say whether they belong to a CMP scheme, but also which scheme they belong to. 

It is proposed that enforcement would be carried out by local authorities or Trading Standards and that monies recovered through civil penalties should be ring-fenced for future enforcement in the private rented sector.

Under the proposals, lettings agents would still be able to operate without belonging to a CMP scheme, provided they don't handle client money. 

The consultation runs until 13 December 2017 and there are nine key questions. The questions ask about minimum levels of cover, the impact on the size of different businesses, whether Trading Standards should enforce the rules and penalties for non-compliance. We urge members to respond to the consultation to highlight the importance of this essential measure being extended across the whole of industry.

Take part

To make sure that your voice is heard in our consultation voice email your views to the ARLA Propertymark policy team.