Landlords warned on financial protection

All agents regulated by NALS, RICS, ARLA, NAEA and the Law Society maintain and operate separate designated client accounts where a landlord’s income is held completely separate from the operating funds of the firm and is protected by a scheme.

Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the British Property Federation, said: "A simple message is often the most effective, and in this case it couldn’t be simpler, if you don’t use a SAFE agent your money could be at risk.

"Landlords often use an agent to take away the stress and hassle of managing their property, or because they are trying to do it from afar. Anyone can set up a letting agency, however, and it doesn’t take long for them to be handling significant sums of rent, deposits and other payments.

"The cheapest agent might appear attractive, but landlords should examine whether that is because their agent is cutting corners and not offering the protections that a SAFE agent will offer."

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