The National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) has ditched its old name and rebranded as the more consumer friendly ‘safeagent’.
It will still provide the same NALS training and accreditation schemes as well as a client money protection (CMP) scheme, but under what it describes as the popular and more recognisable safeagent brand.
Isobel Thomson, chief executive of safeagent, said: “It’s a pivotal time for the private rented sector.
“There have been many changes, and many more are in the offing, but we do know what makes a safe agent.
“In a crowded, sometimes confusing marketplace, safeagent remains an easily identifiable mark of trust for consumers in an agent’s professionalism and the security of their money.
“This is an exciting time for safeagent, a fresh look, with exciting plans for the coming months.
“We will maintain safeagent’s consumer focus, while also continuing to champion the cause of our professional accredited agents who uphold the highest standards of professionalism.”
NALS was established in the early 2000s and received more than £600,000 of Government funding up to 2006 to help create a recognisable brand for consumers to identify agents who met certain professional standards.
It has been self-funded since then and runs on a not-for-profit basis.
The SafeAgent brand and logo had been promoted by NALS since 2011 as part of a campaign to get agents to sign up to CMP schemes.
Its logo could be used by agents that are signed up to any CMP provider.
The campaign ended once mandatory CMP was achieved and subsequently introduced last month, although it still runs an awareness week that takes place from June 17 this year.
There is now a new logo, displayed below, to represent the refreshed safeagent brand.
Of the 2,000 safeagent firms who were part of the original campaign, around 500 were not NALS members, but they will be offered access to the body’s benefits including campaigning, specialist online training, professional development, and advice and support.
A spokesman for safeagent added: “There are so many acronyms in the industry, just having one name makes it easier for the consumer to understand and helps us stand out in a sea of acronyms.”
The NALS rebranding follows the NAEA and ARLA’s rebrand to include the name ‘Propertymark’ – all suggesting a more consumer-facing identity.