Friday, May 7, 2021
UK

Propertymark admits existing regulation unenforceable

agents in Scotland

It says that outside of regulatory requirements for letting agents in Scotland and Wales, there are no minimum standards on work and qualifications

Propertymark has told the government that it needs to introduce overarching regulation of agents now, because existing piecemeal provisions are unmanageable and unenforceable.

In response to a consultation process run by the Department for Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategies, Propertymark says regulation within the property sector would: protect the public on environmental, health and safety grounds; create value for money for the taxpayer; enable professionals to charge more for their services; protect consumers from receiving low-quality services; and provide training.

Propertymark tells the government: The main rationale for regulation in the property sector is that estate agents working across the UK and letting agents operating in England and Northern Ireland are unregulated, which means anyone can set up a business.

Outside of regulatory requirements for letting agents in Scotland and Wales, there are no minimum standards to work in the sector and there are no statutory rules to ensure agents are suitably qualified. Additionally, agents who are not members of a professional body do not have to meet minimum competency standards, it says.

The lengthy submission to BEIS includes strong support for mandatory qualifications for estate agents.

Interestingly, NAEA Propertymark breaks ranks with the two existing redress services by highlighting problems.

It says under current codes and legislation it is not clear to consumers who to raise a complaint with, plus there are gaps anyway in current redress structures, and the two existing redress schemes are inconsistent in how they handle complaints.

Overall, the organisations tell the government department that it wants a new regulatory approach for the agency industry because the current piecemeal approach has become unmanageable and unenforceable.

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