Latest News

Speakers confirmed for largest-ever NAEA Propertymark Conference

20 September 2019

The 2020 NAEA Propertymark Conference will be held on Thursday 27 February 2020 in London. The conference is set to be the biggest yet and features a line-up of speakers with both inspirational and practical advice. Read More...

First time buyers hold many misconceptions

19 September 2019

A new study from Santander Mortgages has revealed striking misconceptions and knowledge gaps among aspiring first-time buyers as they prepare to make their most major purchase. Read More...

HMRC highlights money-laundering breaches and penalties

18 September 2019

HMRC’s list of business penalised for breaches of money laundering regulations has been updated. The businesses, which include financial services companies and estate agents, are listed on the gov.uk website detailing breaches that occurred in the 2019-2020 tax year. Read More...

A sound but uncertain market

18 September 2019

The average price of a property arriving on the market has dropped by 0.2 per cent this month, according to market data from Rightmove. This small dip comes at a time that normally sees the first signs of an Autumn recovery and is the first price fall recorded in September since 2010. Read More...

NAEA Propertymark supports air pollution disclosure

18 September 2019

Estate agents have been encouraged to routinely disclose air pollution figures to home buyers. Read More...

Propertymark supports Gas Safety Week 2019

12 September 2019

Propertymark has pledged its support for Gas Safety Week, taking place 16 -22 September 2019, and will be raising awareness about the importance of gas safety to its members and the public. Read More...

Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (R0PA) report to Government

Thursday 18 July 2019

Today, Thursday 18 July 2019, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) released a report on the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (RoPA) proposing a new regulatory framework to cover estate agents across the UK and letting and managing agents in England only.

The report comes as part of work to raise professional standards in the industry and includes the recommendation that all agents hold a minimum Level 3 Qualification to meet the standards of regulation.

Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler MP, set up the working group in October 2018 and appointed Lord Richard Best as Chair. ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark have been part of the small group of industry stakeholders which has examined several key industry issues including regulation and qualification. We have campaigned for higher professional standards in the industry for many years. It is vital that consumers have confidence in the agent that is providing them with information and dealing with each stage of their transaction. 

Recommendations in the report

  • Propertymark has long called for Government intervention to ensure everyone in the industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice and holds at least a Level 3 qualification (the level equivalent to an A-level). It offers huge potential to stamp out bad practice and raise professional standards.
  • The working group has proposed a new regulatory framework to cover estate agents in the UK and letting and managing agents in England only.
  • The working group has recommended in their report:
  • All agencies operating a residential property business should be licensed and licensing should include a fit and proper person test
  • All customer facing staff employed within residential agency business should be licensed and adhere to a Code of Practice
  • All customer facing staff employed within residential agency business should hold a qualification at Level 3, preferably with directors qualified to Level 4
  • A new regulator be appointed to oversee compliance with an overarching Code of Practice

RoPA REPORT

Firms and individuals

Only individuals can hold qualifications and the working group recognised that not every employee of an agency is a property agent. It has been recommended that Government create a list of ‘reserved activities’ – activities which can only be performed by a licensed individual at a regulated firm.

It is recommended that every property agency be responsible for ensuring their staff are trained to the appropriate level and clear oversight arrangements are in place for junior staff. The regulator will impose continuing professional development requirements on licensed agents.

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark and David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark comment on the final report from the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) working group:

"This is a significant moment for those in the property industry and a huge leap forward in stamping out bad practice. We have long called for Government intervention to ensure everyone in the industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice and holds at least a Level 3 qualification (A-level). Following the extensive considerations by the working group, it is now for Government to create the structures for a properly regulated industry, whose professional knowledge and skills are trusted and respected by all."

Start to prepare

There are substantial changes ahead which will require agents to start making preparations to ensure they are well placed for when the proposed qualification and regulatory requirements are introduced.

While we anticipate that the need for property qualifications will be phased in, we advise agents to get ahead of the competition and to stand out by adopting the new requirements early. Propertymark can support you and your organisation both with getting qualified and preparing for regulation.

The road to regulation

The working group's announcement is good news for raising professional standards in the industry. The focus of is to get all practising agents on the path to qualification and comply with the regulations. Register to have regular updates on the recommendations in an easy to understand framework.

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