As stated previously the Tenant Fees Bill is before the House of Lords and during this process a number of amendments have been incorporated. This post will specifically deal with the Client Money Protection (CMP) amendments that have been proposed by the Lords.
In February 2018 the government brought into force the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Commencement No7…) Regulations 2018. The commencement of these Regulations brought the government one step closer to implementing the mandatory membership of a CMP scheme for property agents. With these Regulations the Secretary of State now has the power to bring into force:
- A requirement for agents to become members of an approved CMP scheme
- Approving or designating CMP schemes similar to the Deposit Protection schemes
- Making provision for the enforcement of the CMP schemes.
We expect the CMP Regulations to come into force on 1 April 2019. Despite this delay the Tenant Fees Bill already includes amendments to the CMP scheme as follows
- Money that has already been protected through a government approved tenancy deposit scheme will not also need to be protected by a CMP scheme.
- CMP schemes will not be required to pay out where certain risks are excluded by insurers, such as loss in the event of war and terrorism.
- Schemes will be entitled to set a limit per individual claim to ensure schemes are not paying out without limit.
- Agents will be given a transitional period of 12 months, that is until 1 April 2020, to join a CMP scheme if they can demonstrate that they have been working towards doing so prior to that deadline.
Whilst the CMP regulations will come into force on 1 April 2019, again these amendments are subject to change and are certainly not exhaustive. We hope to update this post in the early part of next year once the Tenant Fees Bill is finalised.