Existing agents that do not satisfy this basic membership criterion will have to seek alternative arrangements for all deposits requiring protection after this date.
Recent research undertaken by mydeposits has found there is no evidence to suggest tenants and landlords are more likely to experience deposit disputes by using an unaffiliated agent as opposed to an affiliated agent. Although 56% of letting agent disputes come from unaffiliated letting agents, those agents affiliated to a professional body still account for a significant amount (44%).
However, membership criteria and enforcement of the mydeposits Scheme Rules will be tightened to protect mydeposits and its users from the risk of letting agent insolvency in the wake of the recession.
Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive, mydeposits.co.uk, said: "Our research shows that letting agent deposit disputes notified to mydeposits are from both members and non-members of recognised trade bodies in almost equal numbers. From a disputes perspective, unaffiliated agents do not represent a higher than normal risk.
"However, in this uncertain financial climate it makes sense to introduce more stringent financial checks on all our letting agent members, affiliated or otherwise, to ensure they adhere to our Scheme Rules and can provide evidence of robust and appropriate financial security."
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