Differences between MEAS 2014 & MEAS 2018, Standard 9.
Standard 9 is about Client’s Account.
Major changes are:
“Firm” being replaced by “Estate Agent” – this replacement means it is the Registered Estate Agent and not the Firm who is responsible for the Client’s Account. In line with the new change in Standard 9.2.13, signatory MUST be a registered estate agent, instead of the OLD Standard that it could be signed by a signatory agreed by the firm (silent on if this signatory is a REA).
Addition to this is the Extra 18.104.22.168 that in exceptional circumstances, an expressly authorized person by the Board can sign the payment from Client’s Account. This is probably just an exception, and not a norm.
Another NEW addition is in 9.2.2 which is more of clarification. This addition in 9.2.2 provides further detail on when this money should be paid to Client’s Account. The OLD Standard says “without delay” the money be paid into Client’s Account. However, how soon is “without delay”? The NEW Standard gives further clarity as below:
“Upon Client’s acceptance…”
Which means, when you receive booking fee (earnest deposit) but your Owner is reluctant to accept the offer, you SHOULD NOT pay the money into the Client’s Account. “Without delay” only takes effect after the acceptance.
This can be tricky. Usually, acceptance is by phone call. And, owner might change decision later by not signing the Letter of Offer and Acceptance. Thus, it is for us to trust the Clients (mostly owners), and upon acceptance (whichever mode), without delay pay the money into the Client’s Account. If by the time of signing the Letter of Offer and Acceptance – the offer is not accepted, it can be recorded down in the Letter of Offer & Acceptance by crossing the document and signing on it.
Another issue is prospect is being asked to pay the money into Client’s Account online. This is also the normal practice in today’s scenario. Hence, when the prospect pays money online (without asking us if the owner accepts his offer), the proof of payment is given to the Client. If the Client refuses to accept the offer, it is our job to provide evidence to return the money to the prospect.
Lots of communication will be on the phone. Thus, acceptance would likely be in this mode as well. Thus, to have an evidence of Acceptance would be the modus operandi before money is paid into the Client’s Account.