The Government announced plans on Friday for a new body of experts tasked with raising property agent standards.
Chaired by Lord Best, the new working group will make recommendations to better support homebuyers, sellers, landlords, leaseholders and tenants.
As things stand, anyone can set themselves up as a property agent without having any formal qualifications or professional oversight. That means those tasked with selling, letting, or managing properties can do so without restriction.
While many estate agents do seek their own qualifications and become members of trade bodies, there’s no legal requirement for them to do so.
Speaking following the announcement, Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler MP said “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.”
A New Framework For The Property Industry
Consisting of a number of experts from across the property sector, alongside representatives of agents and consumers, the new group will propose a new framework for the industry.
It’s expected that the proposals will cover areas such as the need for independent regulation, introducing required qualifications, and application of a Code Of Practice.
Consumers will also benefit from the group looking at an easier statutory-backed process for consumers to challenge unfair service charges.
Lord Best said: “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.”
The group will report their findings back to government by summer 2019.