In this week’s #ExpertView, Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) Chief Executive, Steve Harriott reveals why The Dispute Service has partnered with Propertymark to create a new client money protection product, Money Shield.

Launched in late August 2018, Money Shield is a new Client Money Protection (CMP) service backed by The Dispute Service and Propertymark in association with The Property Ombudsman (TPO).

Last year, the UK Government announced that CMP would become mandatory for all letting agents in the UK – it’s already a legal requirement in Wales in Scotland. CMP is designed to protect both landlords and tenants should their letting agent enter administration or if they misuse their clients’ money – including rent, unprotected deposits and funds for maintenance work.

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, so moving into CMP is a natural evolution.

We already have robust systems in place to properly protect tenancy deposits, and – working with recognised bodies to create Money Shield – we can now offer full protection for the private rented sector (PRS).

Letting agents that use Money Shield can stand out from competitors by demonstrating that they take their CMP responsibilities seriously and use a reputable, industry-backed service.

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. Letting agents who aren’t enrolled in a CMP scheme by then will be operating unlawfully. With the creation of the Legal Enforcement Authority under the lettings fee ban, we expect vigorous enforcement of this law – so it pays to be prepared and join a CMP scheme well before the deadline.

The Dispute Service already endeavours to make the administrative, but essential duties of lettings agents, like tenancy deposit protection, as straightforward as possible – a goal that Money Shield shares.

To find out more about Money Shield or to join, please visit:

About the author:

Steve Harriott 

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.

About TDS:

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.

About Money Shield

Money Shield is a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme, available to all UK lettings and estate agents. It offers a straight-forward and cost-effective CMP solution, allowing agents to secure robust protection for their clients without membership of a professional body.

Money Shield is owned jointly by Propertymark and The Dispute Service (TDS), administered by Propertymark and operated in association with The Property Ombudsman (TPO). Money Shield is the trading name of Money Shield Ltd.

These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.

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