Add the chorus “not before time”!
A 19 page document has been released today by Department for Communities and Local Government, entitled Mandatory Client Money Protection Schemes
for Property Agents.
Included in the document is this paragraph;
“As announced on 1 October, the Government intends to require that all letting agents must register with an appropriate organisation in order to trade. This will mean that letting agents would be required to satisfy minimum training requirements, abide by an industry code of conduct in order to practise and comply with all existing legal requirements. Once client money protection scheme membership is mandated, non-compliant agents would not be permitted to operate until they obtain cover since being a member of a scheme will be a requirement to trade”.
It will be interesting to see exactly what training is involved. I have only scanned the document and on an initial scan suspect that the training only relates to “client money protection”. Its a start. The most important aspect is that agents will need to be registered, and that non-compliance will result in large fines. If it means that all agents have to be members of a professional organisation then one would hope that the organisation made it imperative for members to pass written examinations on all legal aspects of renting and business practices.
Lets hope the government puts some urgency into this.
If you have the time to read it, the full document can be downloaded here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656195/Mandatory_Client_Money_Protection_Consultation.pdf