From 1st April 2019 it will be a legal requirement for letting agents to operate a ring-fenced client money account, and have 'Client Money Protection' insurance in place.
A client money account isn't a revolutionary new product, it's been around for a very long time. The funds held in this type of account cannot be used to offset any of the businesses debts by the bank or any other debtor. However, the funds are still completely controlled by the agent and there's technically nothing to stop them misappropriating the monies. Something that we hear about far too often!
The Governments plans to protect landlords & tenants funds comes in to place on 1st April, meaning ALL letting agents must operate an appropriate ring-fenced account, and have client money protection insurance in place. This means that if the agent does misappropriate funds, landlords & tenants can make a claim.
As a licensed member of ARLA, this is something that we've always had in place. If your Agent hasn't mentioned this change to you, give them a call to check that they've taken the necessary steps to protect you and your tenant.
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