In October 2018, Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, announced that a new working group made up of industry experts and chaired by Lord Best, an independent cross bencher, was being set up to help raise standards across the property agent sector.
At present, anyone can operate as a property agent without qualifications or professional supervision, although lettings professionals can set themselves apart from the competition by joining a membership organisation such as ARLA Propertymark.
Members of the Regulating Property Agents Working Group include representatives from:
• Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
• Association of Residential Landlords (ARLA Propertymark)
• National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA Propertymark)
• National Trading Standards (NTS)
• Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM)
• Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)
• National Landlords Association (NLA)
• Citizens Advice
• Ombudsman Services
The group is to be tasked with advising for the Government on a model for an independent regulator and how it will enforce compliance across the sector. A mandatory and legally enforceable single code of practice will also be looked to be established, along with setting minimum entry requirements for working in the sector.
Kellie Marsh, Lettings Manager at Robinson & Hall, commented: “As a company which adheres to a number of industry regulations, including ARLA Propertymark, this is welcome news. Protecting consumers from questionable agents is a must as there have been too many cases of landlords and tenants losing money unnecessarily and experiencing terrible service. Everyone has the right to have complete confidence, whether they are buying, selling, letting or renting their home.”
If you would like further advice and information about Robinson & Hall’s residential lettings services then please call Kellie Marsh, Residential Lettings Manager on 01234 362937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.