The government has announced new laws designed to protect both tenants’ and landlords’ money from theft or misuse while being held by property agents.
All private rented property agents will have to sign up to a government-backed money protection scheme under the new laws by 1 April this year. Failure to do so will result in a fine of up to £30,000.
The new measures will protect an estimated £2.7bn of client money held by agents, according to the government.
Currently, the government says, 60 per cent of agents have signed up to an existing client money protection scheme on a voluntary basis.
Housing and Homelessness minister Heather Wheeler comments: “It is not acceptable that some tenants and landlords are being put at risk of losing out financially, simply because their agent had not signed up to a scheme to protect their money.
“Whilst the vast majority of agents act responsibly, this new law will prevent people from losing their hard-earned cash through no fault of their own.
“This will give tenants and landlords confidence and peace of mind that their money is in safe hands whilst with their agent.”