Big fine for agency with two-day gap in Client Money Protection

17 March 2021 | Renting

Big fine for agency with two-day gap in Client Money Protection

Propertymark says a lettings agency in central London has been issued with a fine for not belonging to a Client Money Protection scheme – despite having applied to join one.

The agency is not identified but Propertymark says the local authority – Kensington and Chelsea council – recognised on the one hand that the agent had taken steps to comply but said that on the other hand a two day period for which the business wasn’t covered still constituted a breach. 

The agency was hit with a £20,000 for the breach.

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“Trading Standards is increasingly acting against agents that don’t comply, meaning it is crucial for businesses to check they are displaying a valid certificate in-branch and online” says Propertymark.

Agents have been legally required to belong to have CMP since April 2019. 

The trade body says: “Belonging to a CMP scheme builds trust between the business and client and upholds the professionalism of the agent. It is mandatory for all Principals, Partners, or Directors of firms that act as agencies in property and handle client’s money or uses a third-party to oversee client money.

“Under the regulations, agents must display a valid certificate confirming membership. They must also provide their client money handling procedures both online and hard copy, making it available to clients free of charge upon request.”

It adds that recently over 100 agents in London have been investigated for not belonging to an approved CMP scheme. 

Depending on levels of non-compliance, the agents involved faced fines of up to £30,000 each.

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.