Handling Client Money Procedure
As Property Agents dealing with Client Money whilst carrying out work within the letting agency and property management industry in England, Azure Property Consultants Limited (APCL) abide by the guidelines set out by RICS. Abbreviated details of these guidelines are given below, more detailed information can be provided upon request.
Client Money is defined as money received by APCL, in the course of our business activities, which does not belong to us. Some examples of this may include:
• Tenant deposits
• Service charge
• Fee money taken in advance
Client Bank Account
APCL operate under the Clients Money Service (CMS) provided by NatWest bank. All client money received is received then transferred into the relevant sub-account for each client.
NatWest CMS is in the exclusive control of APCL’s Accounts team and allows us to:
1. Maintain separate Client Money sub-accounts which are designated and easily distinguished from other accounts
2. Name each sub-account with the relevant name of the client or related property
3. Keep all Client Money Accounts separate so it is not combined with, or transferred to, any other trading account maintained by APCL
4. Keep deposit accounts clearly marked and kept separate
5. Ensure Client Money accounts are never overdrawn
APCL do not pass on the charges for running Client Money Accounts; nor do we pass on any interest earned on such accounts.
NatWest are not be entitled to exercise any right of set up or counterclaim against money in that the Client Money Account in respect of any sum owed to it in respect of any other account of APCL.
Bank Records and Reconciliation
APCL ensure that the NatWest CMS Account, and all sub-accounts, are kept updated and in good order. Our internal procedures ensure the following:
1. Client Money is accounted for within a computerised system
2. All Client Money received in/or transferred out of the NatWest CMS account is accounted for on a daily basis (working day only)
3. All dealings with Client Money are kept on record so current positions of accounts can be produced at any time upon request
4. Bank reconciliation on each Client Money sub-account is completed every month within the first week of the following month (i.e.: the accounts of January would be reconciled between 1st-7th February)
5. A three-way reconciliation on each Client Money sub-account is completed for every month if there is money in that account and there has been some activity since the last reconciliation. This allows us to reconcile the bank statement balance to the total of client money held, as recorded by the cash book, and then to the total of the individual client balances, as recorded on the client ledgers at the same date
6. Any unidentified Client Money will be kept in a suspense account until it can be allocated appropriately
APCL can provide a copy of their procedures for handling Client Money to any person who may reasonably require a copy, free of charge.
APCL repay any Client Money without delay if there is no longer any requirement to retain that money or the relevant client request.
APCL hold and maintain professional indemnity insurance cover that is appropriate for the Member’s size, income, type of work and the amount of Client Money held.
The specific provisions relating to client money protection for Registered Firms which are Property Agents undertaking such activities in England will apply for the handling of such Client Money and for possible compensation for loss of such Client Money. The Rules of the RICS Client Money Protection Scheme for Property Agents have been approved by the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government and comply with the specific provisions of the Client Money Protection Schemes for Property Agents (Approval and Designation of Schemes) Regulations 2018.
A copy of the Annexe which details the compensation limits for the Scheme can be provided upon request.