Government have published Guidance on Client Money Protection for letting and management agents. From 1 April 2019, all property agents in England’s private rented sector holding client money must belong to a government-approved Client Money Protection scheme.
Agents must also:
· Hold client money in a client money account with a bank or building society authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority*
· Hold and maintain appropriate professional indemnity insurance
· Have appropriate client money protection handling procedures
· Obtain a certificate confirming membership of an approved CMP scheme and display this prominently in each of their offices where they deal with the public and on their website
· Provide a copy of the certificate to any person who may reasonably require it, free of charge
· CMP schemes may set additional requirements on membership.
*Or be making all reasonable efforts to do so. Note that while CMP schemes are permitted to offer a grace period to allow agents to open such accounts, they may only offer a grace period until 1 April 2020.