Latest News

Agents’ views sought on property listings

20 April 2021

The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has today, 20 April, launched a consultation to gather information to develop guidance as to what should be considered material information on property listings and portals. Read More...

Record breaking activity in regional markets across the UK

19 April 2021

Market activity continues to grow and the appetite from prospective buyers is such that many properties are not being listed on the property portals, as agents focus on fulfilling Consumer Protection Regulations, completing Property Information Questionnaires, and marketing properties to those proceedable buyers, already registered with the agency. Read More...

New 95 per cent mortgage scheme launched

19 April 2021

The UK Government has today, 19 April, opened a Mortgage Guarantee Scheme to help first-time buyers and current owners with 5 per cent deposits buy a house up to £600,000. Read More...

Proportionate approach needed to building safety in Wales

15 April 2021

Propertymark has responded to the Welsh Government’s consultation on improving building safety in Wales by supporting the proposed measures but urging the Welsh Government to also consider the height of buildings, occupation and material used to build property to determine fire risk rather than simply the number of dwellings. Read More...

Safety remains a priority as restrictions ease

13 April 2021

Yesterday, 12 April 2021, the UK Government amended advice on house moves following the easing of restrictions in England. Following measures to re-open retail in England, there is now more flexibility for branch managers to allow unscheduled visitors, however, adherence to safety guidance remains paramount. Read More...

Scottish First Home Fund closes its doors

09 April 2021

The First Home Fund, a shared equity pilot scheme, was launched by the Scottish Government to provide first-time buyers with funding, however, it has closed for applications five days after it re-opened. 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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