Rules introduced in April made it compulsory for property management agents who hold clients’ money to join an approved protection scheme to safeguard the funds they hold on behalf of landlords and tenants.

Agents which fail to become members of an approved Client Money Protection Scheme face fines of up to £30,000.

We were pleased to see the measure introduced, because it ensures greater accountability in the sector and protection against rogue agents.

Here at Scanlans, all of our clients’ money has been protected by a scheme operated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for more than 30 years.

Each year, we pay a levy to the RICS which guarantees that the money is protected.

It is good to see the law starting to catch up with best practice already in place in firms such as ours.

As a member of the RICS and the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), Scanlans is regulated by them in a number of other ways across our business activities, and we are audited by both organisations to ensure compliance.

This should provide comfort and confidence to clients that their property and money are being looked after by a professional and regulated managing agent.

We are required to have in place a complaints procedure, starting with an internal investigation and with scope for a matter to be referred to the property ombudsman if the client is unhappy with the outcome.

There is no obligation for unregulated firms to have such a procedure in place.

Another requirement is for us to have professional indemnity insurance. It’s good practice, but legally there is no obligation for it.

However, a claim in the event of negligence against a firm without this cover could prove very difficult.

The government will hopefully introduce these requirements for managing agents in the future. In the meantime we are proud to be ahead of the field.