MD Nick Cooper explains why Northwood supports SAFEagent Awareness Week:
"Landlords and tenants place a huge amount of trust in letting agents - after all, deposits and rents add up to a hefty sum of money. However, headlines of rogue agents absconding with money suggest that too many of us don't choose our letting agent carefully enough.
The Government has recently taken steps to protect consumers by introducing secondary legislation making it mandatory for letting agents to belong to an ombudsman scheme with an appropriate complaints procedure. However, this does not guarantee that deposits or rents are protected so your finances could still be at risk.
One way to ensure that your finances are protected is to look out for the SAFEagent logo. SAFEagent is a national campaign, supported by the Government, which signposts letting agents which subscribe to a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme. This means that in the unlikely event that a letting agent does go bankrupt or shuts up shop, the necessary insurance is in place so that landlords' and tenants' deposits and rents are returned.
Northwood is proud to be a founder firm behind the SAFEagent initiative and has provided practical and financial support in establishing the mark. Since its launch in 2011, more than 2,000 letting have signed up to SAFEagent and has received support from the Government, as well as high profile organisations including Citizens Advice Bureaux, Shelter, Ombudsman Services: Property, The Property Ombudsman, and Trading Standards Institute."
The wellbeing of our clients, staff and their families - together with continuity of service to clients - is of paramount importance. Outlined below are the precautionary measures we have taken to minimise the risk to our clients, staff and others.