Client Money Protection Schemes (CMP)

CMP schemes protect client money (such as rent and deposit monies) which is received by agents. Their schemes make sure landlords and tenants are compensated if an agent cannot repay their money, for example if an agent goes into administration. Membership of a CMP scheme is a legal requirement from 1st April 2019. 

Agent Information

It is a legal requirement to join a client money protection scheme if you’re a letting or property management agent in the private rented sector in England and you hold clients’ money.

The rules are different in:

  • Scotland 
  • Wales – you need to join a money protection scheme before you apply for an agent licence through Rent Smart Wales
  • Northern Ireland – you do not have to join a client money protection scheme.

CMP cover is available through several schemes who have been approved by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government. More information including the full list of approved CMP schemes can be found here.

You must hold your clients money in an account with a bank or building society authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

You will need to obtain a certificate confirming membership of the scheme that you join and;

  • Provide evidence to anyone who asks free of charge
  • Display the certificate in any office where you deal with the public
  • Display the certificate on your website

Trading Standards Officers have the enforcement powers to impose fines of up to £5,000 for any firm that fails to display this information.

Agents are also required to display their lettings fees and which redress scheme they belong to. Failure to do so, could result in a £5,000 fine being enforced by Trading Standards.

Agents that belong to a trade body

CMP is available through several providers. Agents that belong to an industry trade body may already be covered. The following trade bodies offer comprehensive CMP cover to their member firms: ARLA (Propertymark), RICS, UKALA and NALS. 

Agents that do not belong to a trade body 

Money Shield is a Client Money Protection scheme (CMP) available to lettings, estate and property agents across the UK who want to offer greater protection to their clients and comply with legislation. The scheme was set up at the request of TPO to provide cover for TPO members who are not themselves of a professional body. TPO is a 'Not for Profit' organisation and receives no financial benefit from accepted Money Shield applications. 

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