The Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced the regulation for all Residential Letting Agents in England to have mandatory Client Money Protection (“CMP”) from the 1st April 2019.
Chamberlain Lets as a member of UKALA hold Client Money Protection (“CMP”) for all clients’ money.
Chamberlain Lets adheres to the Client Money Rules of Conduct, using the following procedures:
- All Client Money is held in a ring fenced Client Money Account with Barclays Bank, an authorised bank.
- Chamberlain Lets operates a Client Money Account into which all Client Money is paid.
- Chamberlain Lets ensures that our Client Money Account is designated as such and is easily distinguished from any other account.
- The bank acknowledges that monies in the Client Money Account must not be combined with, or transferred to, any other account maintained by Chamberlain Lets, and the bank shall not be entitled to exercise any right of set off or counterclaim against the money in that Client Money Account in respect of any sum owed to it in respect of any other account of Chamberlain Lets.
- Records and accounts are retained which show all dealings with Client Money and demonstrate that all Client Money held by Chamberlain Lets is held in a Client Money Account.
- Chamberlain Lets can provide copies of our procedures for handling Client Money to any person who may reasonably require a copy.
- Records are retained which provide a history of all dealings with Client Money.
- Client Money is repaid without delay if there is no longer any requirement to retain that money. In this instance for example: an overpayment of rent.
- Chamberlain Lets holds appropriate Professional Indemnity insurance cover.
- Chamberlain Lets pays out rent to landlords on the same day it arrives and therefore does not keep Client Money in the account for any significant period of time.
Surplus Client Funds
In the event that Chamberlain Lets receives surplus client money into our client account, all efforts to trace the clients or owners of the money are made. There should never be a time when owners / clients cannot be traced and funds returned. However any untraced surplus money would be held within the client account for at least 3 years. If, after 3 years, the client or owner of the money has not been found and no true claimant to the money has come forward it would be donated to a registered charity.
Chamberlain Lets ensure that;
- Any employees with client money contact will always have clear responsibilities (at the time of writing there is only one member of staff and thus only one person responsible for all handling of any Client Money)
- An appropriately qualified individual oversees the client accounting function (at the time of writing there is only one member of staff and thus only one person responsible for all handling of any Client Money)
- Chamberlain Lets employs competent and knowledgeable staff who are responsible for processing clients’ money and are familiar with Client Accounting rules (at the time of writing there is only one member of staff and thus only one person responsible for all handling of any Client Money)
- Chamberlain Lets accounting systems and client data are securely controlled and protected
Client Bank Accounts
Chamberlain Lets hold clients’ money in one main ring-fenced client account, which is separate from all other monies. Client money is available on demand. The bank account is correctly titled to include the name of the Chamberlain Lets and the word “client” to distinguish the account from any other account. No interest is retained by Chamberlain Lets from the client account.
Client Accounting Systems and Controls
- Accounting records and systems are appropriate to the nature and volumes of client account transactions.
- Systems provide details of all money received into and paid from all client accounts and show a running balance of all client money held in that account.
- Systems identify all receipts and payments to the client to which they relate.
- Client ledgers show cash balances held on behalf of clients at all times.
- Accounting records are completed promptly.
- Current balances and period reports are available upon demand.
- All ledgers include the Client name and reference.
- Adequate controls are in place over unidentified client money to ensure that such funds are kept securely.
- If Chamberlain Lets is paid surplus client funds, the client will be located and reimbursed as soon as possible. Funds held for more than 3 years will be donated to a registered charity.
- Client bank account details will be maintained.
- Daily reconciliations are performed.
- Further reconciliations are completed at least once every month where clients’ money is held in a general client account.
- Any unresolved differences or adjustments are fully investigated and explained.
- Any errors identified in the reconciliation process are promptly rectified.
- An independent accountant signs off on the accounts annually.
- Client accounting records, including copies of reconciliations, are securely kept for at least six years plus the current year.
Controls over the payment of Client Money
Chamberlain Lets ensures that;
- Adequate authorisation procedures are in place for payments made by electronic methods.
- All payment requests have supporting evidence and that documentation has been authorised in advance
- Chamberlain Lets does not accept any payments by cash, cheque or card