CLIENT MONEY HANDLING PROCEDURE


1. How and where client money is held:

All client money held or received by RJL Property Services is banked into an insured client segregated bank account; this Client Money bank account is a client account which holds pooled client money which comes in from tenants, then distributed to landlords, contractors and us, the management agent.

This account is covered by the UKALA CMP Certified client money protection scheme.

The client money is under the exclusive control of RJL Property Services Ltd, and the bank accounts are held by a UK banking institution (Metro Bank), with a minimum rating of B+ which is regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.


DEFINITION OF CLIENT MONEY: MONEY OF ANY CURRENCY (WHETHER IN THE FORM OF CASH, CHEQUE, DRAFT OR ELECTRONIC TRANSFER) THAT:

A UKALA REGULATED FIRM HOLDS FOR OR RECEIVES ON BEHALF OF ANOTHER PERSON, INCLUDING MONEY HELD BY A REGULATED FIRM AS STAKEHOLDER; AND IS NOT IMMEDIATELY DUE AND PAYABLE ON DEMAND TO THE UKALA REGULATED FIRM FOR ITS OWN ACCOUNT; BUT EXCLUDING FEES PAID IN ADVANCE FOR PROFESSIONAL WORK AGREED TO BE PERFORMED, AND CLEARLY IDENTIFIABLE.


2. Access to funds

RJL Property Services staff have defined access to funds based on their individual roles which are set out in the banking mandates and system access and approval controls. These are defined below:

▪ Accounts staff and Directors, have the ability to view bank statements and interrogate online platforms to identify payments and receipts. They also have the ability to upload payments for authorisation;

▪ Directors are responsible for performing the first sign off of payments on the online systems, authorising bank mandate changes, and ability to upload payments for approval to various online banking platforms;

▪ For internal bank transfers and bank mandates within RJL Property Services, a single signatory can approve payments but this must be done by a Director.

3. Timescales for receipting of cash and cheques into a client account

The Accounts team at RJL Property Services log all monies received by post or electronic transfer on the day of receipt, where possible, and allocate to the appropriate client ledgers.

All cheques are banked promptly, usually within 1 week of receipt. Cheques are stored securely in the relevant office where they are received and stored in a lock box until they are banked.

Any unidentified funds are investigated as soon as possible. If it is not possible to identify what the money relates to it will be returned to the sender within 1 month of receipt.


4. Authorisation of payments from a client account

All payments from a client account require approval prior to payment in line with our Landlord Letting Agreement or “Terms of Business”, or via specific permission obtained from the client.

We will not make cash transfers to clients, this is to maintain traceability for auditing purposes and avoid errors.

For the payment of purchase Invoices, Purchase Orders and Purchase Invoices are first approved in line with our internal approval matrix on our purchase to pay system. Once a purchase invoice has been fully approved and the service /goods have been receipted, it will then be available for payment.

The Accounts team or Company Directors prepare a draft payment run and set of statements on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday of every week (unless it falls on a Bank holiday), this is then checked by a Director or 2nd Director to confirm the payments are correct.

Only Directors are currently authorised to make payments.


5. How interest and bank charges are handled

RJL Property Services Ltd Client Money Account are interest bearing, instant access accounts. The account maintenance and transactional banking costs are paid for by RJL Property Services Ltd and hence are not charged to the general account. As per our standard terms of business, RJL Property Services Ltd is entitled to retain the interest earned on general clients’ accounts which is used to offset the account maintenance and transactional banking costs.

On discrete bank accounts opened to hold deposit or reserve funds the interest will be accrued and added to the balance but any transactional or administrative charges will be paid for by RJL Property Services Limited.


6. Bank reconciliation procedures

Bank reconciliations are performed on a daily basis for the company bank account, and monthly, typically 1st Tuesday of the month on the Client Money account. As per the UKALA regulations, we perform a two-way reconciliation between the bank statement and general ledger.

All bank reconciliations are reviewed by at least 1 authoriser, one of which will be a Director, the other a member of the accounts team or a 2nd Director.


7. Providing information to clients about monies held on their accounts

As part of agreeing our responsibilities with our clients at the outset of an instruction, we set out the details of the financial information and frequency with which it is to be provided to our clients and this is documented through an engagement letter or Landlord agency agreement. It is our normal practice to provide client money information to a client at a monthly, then quarterly and/ or yearly frequency upon request.