A guide to Client Money Protection and tenant deposits

One of the reasons why we’re a trusted lettings agency in Southend is because of our professional association memberships which ensure we operate to the highest standards.

What is SAFE?

Pace is a SAFE agent, which stands for Safe Agent Fully Endorsed. This is a mark awarded to firms that protect landlords and tenants money through client money protection schemes. Clients’ money is any money received and held by an agent that does not belong to it. This could include rent held on behalf of a landlord or a tenant’s deposit. As members of ARLA (the Association of Residential Lettings Agents) we are part of their Client Money Protection scheme (CMP).

What is client money protection?

The ARLA Client Money Protection Scheme is an insurance policy that protects landlord and tenant clients of an ARLA member lettings agency against theft of their money, by a principal, partner, director or shareholder of the agent. The protection is only provided for members that have been approved by ARLA for membership of the Client Money Protection Scheme and only whilst the agent remains a member of ARLA. Not all SAFE agents will be members of ARLA but all SAFE Agents will have CMP. Choosing an ARLA agent also gives you additional protection which we will write about soon.

While all lettings agents in Southend and indeed throughout the country are legally obliged to keep tenant’s deposits safe, not all have client money protection. If an agent without CMP ceases trading, any money the agent has collected on behalf of their clients and not yet paid over to the landlord such as deposits or rent, will be lost.

Even if you use an agent stating it has a separate client money bank account, if they do not have CMP and they cease trading if there is no money in the client account, you will not be able to get your money back.

Being part of a CMP scheme gives our clients confidence in dealing with us. It shows we are professional, reputable and working to strict standards. It is a significant benefit being able to offer our clients protection of their money, something not all agents can offer.

I thought deposits were protected anyway?

When an agent holds a deposit on your behalf, they are supposed to register it with one of the government approved schemes - the TDS, DPS and others. Many landlords do not check that the deposit has been properly registered. We have seen firsthand examples of many agents going out of business and the deposits are just not where they are supposed to be.

If they are not there, they are not protected – unless you have an agent with Client Money Protection that is ideally also a licensed ARLA Agent.


We are happy to offer half an hour of face-to-face advice, free of charge, to local individual considering becoming a landlord.

Please telephone and ask to speak to Martin, Marcus or Crystal on 01702 445 606.

George Curtis is Senior Negotiator at Pace Plc, an independent lettings agency in Southend-on-Sea. In his day-to-day role George provides honest property advice about letting and selling property, based on his local knowledge and the current market conditions.

He will ensure all sales are dealt with quickly, smoothly and makes certain the highest price possible is achieved when acting for the vendor.

Pace Sales


"I am a landlady with many properties and have dealt with Pace for about 10 years. Marcus is very friendly, honest, efficient and helpful and has made my letting experience extremely easy always finding me suitable tenants. I have nothing but praise for Marcus who has been with Pace many years.

Mary R

After renovating a block of 21 flats to place into our rental portfolio we instructed PACE and gave them two weeks to let all the units on a sole agency basis. Within a month all the flats were filled with suitable tenants. PACE delivered and exceeded our expectations.

Runwood Homes Director

As a landlord with multiple HMO properties, I have employed the services of PACE for a number of years now as they ensure I have my required specification of tenant placed in all my rooms. I only let rooms to employed applicants and very much favour their opening hours as this attracts and accommodates the right people.

Johnathon Simons HMO Landlord

Sara is my dedicated property manager and has been for some time. I have always found Sara to be a professional member of staff who always keeps me informed and provides regular visit reports, which is important to me. She deals with any problem that befalls her, contacting me if required. Sara will discuss any problem and invariably come to a solution. 

Raymond Durrant – multi property landlord

The staff are always friendly and helpful, my special thanks to Sara, we have built a very special rapport and I feel very comfortable phoning if I need anything. I feel very happy that I have one person to deal with all of my issues.

Evelin Jenkins - Tenant

We cannot stress how much we appreciate having a dedicated property manager. We live 350 miles away and also spend a great deal of the winter out of the country.  We have used Pace for a number of years and have never been disappointed with the level of service we receive.

Peter and Maureen Mason – Multi property landlords

I was extremely thankful I chose PACE to conduct the sale of my property and extremely grateful to Sue Mellor who worked very hard to ensure a smooth transaction. She was most knowledgeable and professional throughout, always reachable and approachable. She was able to answer all the questions I posed.

Yvonne White

I've recently purchased a property with the help of Pace. I found the staff extremely helpful and friendly. My first contact was Katie, she showed me around the property and liaised with the vendor. After, I dealt mostly with Sue Mellor. She was very knowledgeable and helpful. She kept me informed throughout the process and was the first to congratulate me on completion.

Roni Miller

I just thought I'd drop you a line about Adele who is managing my flat. Adele is doing a great job and is a credit to Pace. She has done, and continues to do, exactly what she says she will do and as a customer that is exactly what I want. Adele doesn't take things at face value and investigates things when she needs to, again a thing that clients will prize.

Tony Mihill - Landlord

Thank you to the team at PACE for firstly providing excellent property management services over many years and secondly for helping me to sell my property recently. All your hard work has been very much appreciated. Special mentions to Sara, Amy, Sue and Billy for their friendly and professional service!

Charlotte, (Property Management & Seller)