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Ombudsman to sound members out over mandatory CMP for letting agents

The Property Ombudsman scheme is launching a nationwide-wide survey of lettings agents to support the Government’s review into Client Money Protection insurance. The online survey will launch next week, and will run from Thursday until Friday September 16.

TPO agreed to undertake the survey in collaboration with Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town, who is chairing a DCLG review with Lord Palmer of Childs Hill, following the introduction of the Housing & Planning 2016 Bill, which included a provision that could allow the housing minister to make CMP cover mandatory for letting agents.

TPO, which has over 85% of the UK lettings industry in membership, will be inviting all of its branches to take part in the survey.

Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman said: “TPO, alongside other leading organisations, is a long-term supporter of mandatory CMP cover, which is already reflected in the scheme’s Lettings Code of Practice.

“While the industry has taken great strides to self-regulate with many of the trade bodies already making CMP cover mandatory for membership, the survey will target thousands of TPO agents who are not affiliated with a trade body to establish a clear picture of the whole industry – not just in terms of how many have cover, but also the practices they undertake to handle and process client money.”

The survey also aims to establish how many agents are aware of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which made it a legal requirement for every agent to display if they have CMP cover on their website and in their branches.

The findings of the survey will be shared with the Government’s CMP working group which is due to convene in autumn.

A link will be sent to letting agents across the country when the survey goes live next week.