YORKSHIRE LETTING SPECIALISTS THROW THEIR WEIGHT BEHIND INAUGURAL 'SAFEAGENT AWARENESS WEEK'

YORKSHIRE'S largest residential letting specialists are backing the first-ever SAFEagent Awareness Week (May 14 - 20) - as part of a national campaign to highlight the importance of Client Money Protection Schemes in the rental property sector.

Linley & Simpson - with offices in Leeds, Harrogate, Wetherby, Ripon, York, Ilkley and Wakefield - is urging all would-be tenants and landlords to look for the SAFEagent logo, an easily identifiable mark to immediately see that their money is protected.

The appeal comes as official statistics show that home ownership is in decline more people are turning to the private rented sector for their homes. Experts are predicting that as many as 1-in-6 homes may be provided by the private rental market by the end of the year.

Director Nick Simpson said: "Many people are not in a position to buy their own homes and will be renting for many years to come. It is therefore of the upmost importance to choose a letting agent with whom you know your money is protected.

"Registered SAFEagents like us are able to offer this assurance, and also prove a commitment to professional business practices.

"Nobody books a holiday with a travel agent who is not properly accredited and registered - but, as ever-increasing numbers are finding to their cost, this isn't always the case in the rental market where the stakes are far higher."

Linley & Simpson is an inaugural member of the SAFEagent scheme following its launch last September, and was invited to play a role in the development of the initiative from paper into practice.

John Midgley, chair of SAFEagent steering group, said: "We want every person who is looking to rent or let a property to 'play it safe' and be aware that they can protect their money.

"The message is simple - be safe.

"Choose a SAFEagent when you rent or let. Remember, your money may be at risk if you do not use an agent that is part of a client money protection scheme."

Approaching 2000 letting agency offices have now signed up to SAFEagent. In addition to Government support, key organizations in the industry including Citizens Advice Bureaux, Shelter, Crisis, The Property Ombudsman, National Union of Students, OFT, My Deposits and Trading Standards Institute have all allied themselves to the campaign. Key suppliers to the sector are also standing behind the campaign - for example, HomeLet and CFP Winman have led the way in pledging their backing to it.

For more information on the SAFEagent campaign, please visit www.safeagents.co.uk


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