Regulating property agents - it's about time!
After years of on-off discussions about the way our industry is regulated, the government has finally decided to bring property agents into line with the other professions and set minimum entry standards for lettings, estate and managing agents. This has to be good news all round, not only for the public but also for those firms - like us at Ringley - who are committed to high levels of customer service and are proud of the qualifications that we have worked hard to achieve. A better regulated industry will shine the spotlight firmly on the rogue agents out there and, hopefully, will ensure that they can no longer get away with those shoddy practices that give us all a bad name.
A working group to develop a new set of regulations for agents has been set up and its terms of reference have been published. The working group will be responsible for advising on:
- Setting up an independent property agent regulator
- Drawing up a legally enforceable code of practice for letting and managing agents, and whether something similar could be provided for estate agents
- Qualifications and continuing professional development for letting, managing and estate agents
- Developing a system for delivering transparent service charges to leaseholders and freeholders
- An easier system allowing consumers to challenge fees and service charges
- Asking whether other fees and charges which affect both leaseholders are justified; and whether these should be capped or banned.
The working party is expected to report its findings to government next summer - so watch this space?..
Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
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