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SAFE Agent Saturday 16th March 2013

March 12, 2013 | Company News  

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The company is inviting would-be tenants and landlords to contact Let-Leeds to find out more about risk-proofing their rental experience.

SAFEagent – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – denotes letting agents that subscribe to a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme, which means that financial protection is offered should a letting agent fold or abscond with client funds.

More than 8.56 million households are now privately rented, up from 1.88 million in 2001.

Let-Leeds signed up to SAFEagent in March 2012. We are also a member of ARLA.

Rogue letting agents give the industry a bad name. They are an exception yet they dominate the headlines because of the financial nightmare and distress they cause. Landlords and tenants can protect themselves from this risk and carefully choose their letting agent. At Let-Leeds, we take every measure to protect our clients’ funds and this is highlighted by our commitment to SAFEagent.

John Midgley, chair of the SAFEagent steering group, said, “The number of families and households privately renting their homes continues to rise, so it is of the utmost importance that they know how to ensure that their monies are protected and to avoid rogue landlords. SAFEagent Saturday is an opportunity for tenants and landlords to find out about industry best practice and what they should be looking for in a letting agent.

“The message is simple! Be SAFE – choose a SAFEagent from the growing list of professional firms who are placing hundreds of tenants into rental property in Leeds each year, and sleep easy in the knowledge that your rental funds and tenancy deposits have complete protection.”

Over 2,000 letting agents have now signed up to SAFEagent. In addition to Government support, key organizations in the industry including Which, Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter, Crisis, The Property Ombudsman, Consumer Focus, National Union of Students, OFT, GLA and Trading Standards Institute have all allied themselves to the scheme. Key suppliers to the sector are also standing behind the campaign – for example, HomeLet, Imfuna and CFPwinMan have led the way in pledging their backing to it.

SAFEagent received great support at the ARLA Conference last Tuesday. Eric Walker representing the SAFEagent Steering Group on the SAFEagent stand at the event said, “We were delighted at the level of support we received from ARLA members and it was great to hear their endorsement for the SAFEagent campaign”.

There has a lot of buzz in the media in the past few months about letting agent regulation, but no legislation has yet passed. It is estimated that 40% of UK letting agents are not signed up to a voluntary regulation scheme that ensures members adhere to strict codes of conduct. This means that it is vitally important that both landlords and tenants are able to discern which letting agents are SAFE.

To find out more about SAFEagent visit www.safeagents.co.uk

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