GO Property Services backs SAFEagent Kitemark

 

The SAFEagent kitemark was launched to help landlords and tenants eliminate the risk of falling victim to potential fraud. The scheme aims to protect tenants and landlords as the mark denotes that an agent operates a Client Money Protection Scheme. This means that all funds (such as rents and deposits, are dealt with ‘properly’ using defined accounting standards and that these funds are kept separate from the operating funds of the firm. It’s also a mark that such funds are insured should they be misused by an agent.
   
Statistics show that home ownership is in decline as more people are turning to the private rented sector for their homes. Director Andrew Sainsbury said: ‘Many are not in a position to buy their own homes and will continue to rent for years to come. It’s therefore very important to choose a letting agent with whom you know your money is protected. Registered SAFEagents like us offer this assurance, and also prove a commitment to professional business practices. Few would book a holiday with a travel agent who was not properly registered, but it makes even more sense to use a properly registered letting agent in the rental market, where the stakes are far higher.’

 

The kitemark makes it far easier for landlords and tenants to differentiate between the good, the bad and the plain ugly among letting agents. Only agencies which are guaranteed to safeguard client money will be able to display it. After the government shelved plans for a mandatory licensing scheme, anybody or any organisation can set up as a letting agent without any experience or qualifications. As the rental market continues to grow, it leaves the door open for more unethical operators to enter. To join the SAFEagent scheme, companies have to meet strict criteria to be accredited and be allowed to display the kitemark of reassurance. GO Property Services is encouraging as many agencies as possible to sign up to the scheme.
   
John Midgley, chair of SAFEagent steering group, said: ‘We want every person who is looking to rent or let a property to 'play it safe' and be aware that they can protect their money’.
   
More information about the scheme can be found on the SAFEagent website

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