|SAFE – New Consumer Kitemark for Agents
Thanks to a group of like-minded letting agents, we now have a new consumer kitemark – SAFE (Safe Agent, Fully Endorsed). As with ABTA and travel agents, any letting agent displaying the SAFE kitemark demonstrates that they safeguard their landlords/tenants money.
As seen in the press recently, there have been a number of incidents whereby letting agents have allowed client accounts to become overdrawn and, in some cases, actually disappeared with clients’ rents and deposits! Despite the Government introducing measures to ensure tenants’ deposits are protected through the registered Tenancy Deposit Scheme, little else has been done to ensure that rents are protected. Without insurance (Client Money Protection) in place, neither landlords nor tenants have any recompense should they need to recover missing funds.
In co-ordination with NALS who have agreed to administer the SAFE campaign, any letting agents running a Client Money Protection Scheme (via NALS, ARLA or RICS) can sign-up with SAFE. It is free to register but there is a nominal charge for marketing materials.
Since SAFE’s launch a few weeks ago, feedback has been good and the kitemark has gained significant support from many organisations across the property industry.