Following the launch of Propertymark’s Calm About Compliance service in December 2022, designed to help us property agents navigate the myriad of sector laws, regulations and guidance, we are partnering with PayProp (https://uk.payprop.com/) to trial an extra service where agencies no longer incur costly annual accountant reports and health checks.
What is Calm About Compliance?
This service brings together a number of initiatives Propertymark (https://www.propertymark.co.uk/) has been running for some time to help protect members from falling foul of the rules.
Firstly, as a client money protection (CMP) provider, it requires members to provide an accountant's report or health check to verify and validate the appropriate use of their client account. Secondly, the Propertymark Compliance Team carries out ongoing CMP checks and other monitoring exercises designed to help members with other pieces of legislation.
As such, Calm About Compliance offers Propertymark members the peace of mind of complying with the various rules governing tenant fees, anti-money laundering, data and consumer protection, and of course, CMP.
Why is PayProp working with Propertymark?
PayProp clients have access to an automated client accounting platform for processing rental payments that not only allow letting agents to reconcile their client accounts in a few clicks but also supports their compliance efforts.
PayProp holds all processed funds directly in CMP-recognised NatWest client accounts, providing Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection. Additionally, PayProp carries separate professional indemnity insurance to cover any unforeseen eventualities and keeps your client money as safe as can be.
A number of Propertymark members are currently trialling a new joint compliance programme that, with the agent’s permission, gives Propertymark’s Compliance Team read-only audit access to the agent’s PayProp-powered client account.
With this access, Propertymark can audit a member’s client account remotely to help guide its members to even higher levels of client money safety and security.
Big risks from non-compliance
While some might be nervous about giving a compliance team sight of their business affairs, the discomfort is a small price to pay – an extra pair of eyes on key compliance issues can pay dividends for agencies. According to David Oliver, Propertymark’s Compliance Manager, some of the fines being handed out at the moment by trading standards are in the region of £30,000 for issues relating to CMP, a figure that could spell the end for smaller agencies and hurt most businesses.
And CMP compliance is just one small part of the Calm about Compliance service, as it covers many other common compliance issues that attract fines too.
How does this help letting agents?
The benefits of this ongoing partnership are indispensable for agencies concerned with their ongoing viability due to compliance risks. Not only do you get professional compliance oversight over your client account from the team at Propertymark, but you will also no longer have to deal with the annual stress and cost of undertaking an accountant’s report or health check.
While this new programme is still in the trial phase, it is anticipated that it will be rolled out to all Propertymark members who use PayProp soon.
For more information call our London Office on 020 8556 1212 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org