14 November 2017
The Letting Agent Code of Practice comes into force on 31 January 2018.
It includes a requirement for agents to hold client money in a dedicated client bank account, separate from their main business or private accounts. We raised concerns about availability of client accounts in the CLA response to the government’s consultation on the draft Code of Practice two years ago.
We have recently heard from many CLA members of difficulties they are experiencing in obtaining client accounts, with most banks refusing to provide such accounts to letting agents. We have made the Scottish Government aware of this issue and they have agreed to engage with the banks as a matter of urgency. We have asked that if the banks confirm such accounts are not readily available, the government postpones the implementation of the client account and client money protection aspects of the Code. We will keep members updated with developments in this regard. We recommend that if your current bank is not willing to provide you with a client account you hold off on taking any further action for the time being.