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Government Launches Its Consultation into Mandatory Client Protection

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The Government has launched its consultation on how membership of mandatory client protection schemes in England should be designed, implemented and enforced.

Membership of a client money protection scheme is not currently mandatory, but Government estimate around 60% of agents already have membership. Under the proposals, managing agents will need to be a member of an approved or government-administered client money protection scheme.

Enforcement of the mandatory protection will be up to local authorities, however the Government recognises resources may be stretched. They will therefore look to support local authorities in their responsibilities by enabling monies collected through civil penalties to be retained and used for future enforcement in the private rented sector.

Local authorities will be able to impose a civil penalty of up to £5,000, although Government is keen to understand whether a financial penalty of up to £30,000 would be more appropriate.

The Government will also provide agents and scheme providers with a notice period to become compliant with the new requirements.

The consultation will run for 6 weeks, ending on 13 December 2017, with stakeholders and interested parties able to submit their views and comments directly to the Department for Communities and Local Government.