22 Oct Estate Agents – New Regulations
Last week the housing minister, Heather Wheeler, announced new plans to regulate and raise standards across the property and estate agents sector. The idea is to provide better standards of service to landlords, tenants, vendors and homebuyers.
Lord Best will chair a new working group consisting of top industry experts from across the UK. This group will sit to consider all options. The case for regulation and introducing mandatory qualifications for all property agents will be high on their list. This will boost confidence in tenants, homebuyers and sellers. Consequently, they know they are receiving the appropriate service standards and have been charged fairly.
Currently, anyone can operate an estate agency and work as an estate agent without professional oversight or qualifications. Many agents take a professional approach and sign up to the standards prescribed by a professional body. This is not compulsory at the moment and consequently, there are some that do not.
The entire property agent sector will be considered by the group to ensure that a new framework is wholly inclusive. This will include matters such as the requirement for professional qualifications. Also a code of practice and an independent regulator providing consistency across the estate agent sector. This will be either in sales, lettings or investment.
Following the announcement, the Housing Minister is quoted as saying:
“For too long, many people have faced incurring fees and bad service from a number of property agents. People should have confidence when buying, selling or renting a home.
Lord Best’s wealth of knowledge will provide a valuable insight and help us make necessary changes to ensure consumers have confidence when buying, selling, letting or renting their home.
He is joined by representatives of estate agents and consumers, as well as independent experts, with the group instructed to report back to the government in summer 2019.”
Lord Best is also quoted as saying:
“There have been calls for tighter, fairer regulation of property agents from those representing tenants, landlords and agents themselves.
I am delighted to work with government, industry and consumers to advise on how we can accomplish this in practice, and I look forward to our working group achieving real progress together.”
All Groups Represented
Other members of the group will include representatives from the National Landlords Association, Citizens Advice, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA Propertymark) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark).
The entire sector will enjoy across the board representation and both businesses and consumers will be considered when making recommendations.