In this week’s #ExpertView, TDS’ Chief Executive Officer, Steve Harriott, discusses Money Shield – a new, government-backed CMP scheme.
From 1 April 2019, every letting agent in England will be required by law to subscribe to a client money protection (CMP) scheme.
Five schemes have received government approval to date, including Money Shield, which The Dispute Service (TDS’ parent organisation) is a partner in – along with ARLA Propertymark and The Property Ombudsman.
Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about CMP and Money Shield:
What is Money Shield?
Money Shield is a government-approved Client Money Protection (CMP) service that is available to all letting agents, enabling them to reassure customers that their money is safe. All members must maintain a Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance policy with a minimum limit of indemnity of £100,00 and at no stage during the financial year can the total sum held in the members client account exceed £1,000,000.
Last year, the UK government announced that letting agents in England would have to join a CMP scheme by 1 April 2019 – it’s already a legal requirement in Wales and Scotland.
Money Shield is a straightforward and cost-effective solution, allowing agents to obtain robust protection for their clients without membership of a professional body.
What is Client Money Protection (CMP)?
Client Money Protection reimburses both the landlord and the tenants if an agent goes bust or misuses client money. Client money can include rents, deposits and funds for maintenance work.
Over £2.7 billion in funds is held by letting agents on behalf of clients; protecting it with reputable and approved providers is vital.
Who’s behind it?
Launched in August 2018, Money Shield is backed by The Dispute Service and Propertymark in association with The Property Ombudsman (TPO).
The Dispute Service has worked with leading industry partners including Propertymark for 15 years to give agents, landlords and tenants peace of mind that their tenancy deposits are protected.
Why should I join Money Shield?
CMP will be a legal requirement by 1st April 2019, and those found in contravention of the legislation could face a fine of up to £30,000.
There are also commercial benefits of joining Money Shield; packages are available that include TDS’ deposit protection services, and Property Ombudsman membership offers.
How do I know a Money Shield agent is reputable?
Money Shield is a commercial product governing how letting agents manage their clients’ funds. Being backed by the government, customers can rest assured that their money is protected to the same standards as deposits are currently protected.
All letting agents in England will need to register with an approved CMP scheme by 1 April 2019. Following the Legal Enforcement Authority’s creation under the lettings fee ban, CMP membership is likely to be strongly enforced. To avoid repercussions, agents should join a scheme like Money Shield ahead of the deadline.
Money Shield, like TDS, aims to make tenancy processes like deposit protection as straightforward and secure as possible. With the backing of major industry partners, Money Shield offers letting agents and their customer’s peace of mind that their deposit is safe.
To find out more about Money Shield or to join, please visit: www.money-shield.co.uk
About Steve Harriott:
Steve Harriott MA (Oxon), PGCE, MSc, FCIH is the Chief Executive of The Dispute Service Ltd. He has been Chief Executive since September 2010 and has worked as Chief Executive of three housing associations as well as chairing a housing association and a regeneration charity. He is currently also a Director at SafeDeposits Scotland, a Director of TDS Northern Ireland and a Director of the TDS Charitable Foundation.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland’s leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.
About Money Shield:
Money Shield is a government-backed Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme, available to all UK lettings and estate agents. It offers a straight-forward and cost-effective CMP solution, allowing agents to secure robust protection for their clients without membership of a professional body.
Money Shield is owned jointly by Propertymark and The Dispute Service (TDS), administered by Propertymark and operated in association with The Property Ombudsman (TPO). Money Shield is the trading name of Money Shield Ltd.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.