#ExpertView: "What is Money Shield?"
Steve Harriott, Chief Executive at Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), answers the question: “What is Money Shield?”
What is Money Shield?
Money Shield is a new Client Money Protection (CMP) service that is available to all letting agents and estate agents, enabling them to reassure customers that their money is safe.
Last year, the UK Government announced that letting agents in England would have to join a CMP scheme by 1 April 2019 – it’s already a legal requirement in both Wales and Scotland.
Money Shield is a straightforward and cost-effective solution, allowing agents to obtain robust protection for their clients without membership of a professional body.
What is Client Money Protection (CMP)?
Client Money Protection reimburses both the landlord and the tenants if an agent steals or misappropriates client money. Client money can include rents, deposits and funds for maintenance work.
Who’s behind it?
Launched in August 2018, Money Shield is backed by The Dispute Service and Propertymark in association with The Property Ombudsman (TPO).
The Dispute Service has worked with leading industry partners including Propertymark for 15 years to give agents, landlords and tenants peace of mind that their tenancy deposits are protected.
Why should I join Money Shield?
By joining Money Shield before membership of a CMP scheme becomes mandatory in April 2019, letting agents can stand out from competitors by demonstrating that they take their CMP responsibilities seriously and use a reputable, industry-backed service.
How do I know a Money Shield agent is reputable?
Money Shield is a commercial product governing how letting agents manage their clients’ funds. Therefore, agent members are required to adhere to the same robust accounting practices as any Propertymark Protected agent.
Although CMP isn’t mandatory for letting agents in England currently, all will need to register with an approved CMP scheme by 1 April 2019 and this is likely to be rigorously enforced. To avoid repercussions, agents should join a scheme like Money Shield well ahead of the deadline.
Money Shield, like TDS, aims to make tenancy processes like deposit protection as straightforward and secure as possible. With the backing of major industry partners, Money Shield offers letting agents and their customer’s peace of mind that their deposit is safe.
To find out more about Money Shield or to join, please visit: www.money-shield.co.uk
About the author:
Steve Harriott MA (Oxon), PGCE, MSc, FCIH is the Chief Executive of The Dispute Service Ltd. He has been Chief Executive since September 2010 and has worked as Chief Executive of three housing associations as well as chairing a housing association and a regeneration charity. He is currently also a Director at SafeDeposits Scotland, a Director of TDS Northern Ireland and a Director of the TDS Charitable Foundation.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a Government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland's leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.