Roger Parry & Partners have welcomed a report published last week, which recommends Government regulates Estate & Lettings Agents in the United Kingdom.
Government proposed that property agents be regulated by an independent regulator, with mandatory qualifications and a code of practice. A working group was tasked with advising on how to make this proposition a reality. Last week the working group published its recommendations.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), of which Roger Parry and Partners are members, fed their views into the working group and were pleased that the report used a number of RICS’ recommendations.
Richard Corbett, Partner with Roger Parry & Partners said, “Like RICS, we welcome the report's recommendations as we believe it will raise the bar across the sector and increase consumer trust. Together with RICS, we have long called for the consistent regulation of residential property agencies in the UK. If implemented well, making best use of the available resources, the recommendations will bring positive change and will increase public confidence in the sector - parts of which have been likened to the 'wild west'.”
“Housing is central to the welfare of society, so ensuring consistent minimum standards across the sector for agents is vital to upholding the public interest. That's why RICS and ourselves congratulate the working group for these sound recommendations.”
The Working Group’s report states: “We regard the regulation of property agents as a matter of great importance, with the potential to significantly improve consumers’ experience of renting, letting, leasehold, and the home buying and selling process. We commend the Government’s decision to take this concept forward and we now urge Government to make progress at pace with their proposals.
The Working Groups proposals to Government include:
- A new independent regulator to lead a new non-departmental public body to oversee a new regulatory regime for property agents
- For that new regulatory regime to bind on companies, and certain individuals, that are acting as intermediaries to property transactions
- For those regulated to be licensed by the new regulator
- For the new regulator to be responsible for an overarching statutory code of practice, with modules binding on agents depending on their area of work
- For the new regulator to be responsible for the syllabus for a modular approach to the qualifications, required for individuals within regulated companies, allowing agents to become proficient in those aspects of property agent work as suits the needs of their role and career, subject to minimum requirements on those carrying out restricted activities; and
- For the new regulator to sit at the heart of a system of enforcement and redress which takes on, at their discretion, the support of national and local trading standards, of redress schemes, and of professional bodies.
More details on the Working Group’s report can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/818244/Regulation_of_Property_Agents_final_report.pdf