Latest News

HM Land Registry portal enhancements – a benefit to the property industry

11 August 2020

Following the announcement on 27 July that transfers of ownership of property, leases, mortgages, and other property dealings can be signed electronically, HM Land Registry has also confirmed that customers in Wales and England can now manage all portal applications and correspondence in one central place. Read More...

Government urged to speed up cladding remediation process

10 August 2020

The second report from the Industry Safety Steering Group on the progress of culture change in the construction sector was issued on 5 August, which highlighted the need for further change for the industry now, ahead of the legislation. Read More...

Consultation to reform planning system launched

06 August 2020

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick announced today, 6 August, the Government is ‘Planning for the Future’ and aims to overhaul outdated systems and reform the way the country builds. Read More...

Property market to continue through Aberdeen lockdown

06 August 2020

Following the announcement on 5 August by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, that Aberdeen is in lockdown for a period of at least seven days, the Scottish Government has published regulations clarifying the property market can still function. Read More...

COVID-19 not dampened enthusiasm to get OnTheMarket

06 August 2020

A property market online portal has seen the number of agent branches listing exclusively rise by 1,619, which is a year-on-year rise of 42 per cent. Read More...

Government asks the industry to comment on draft code of practice

Monday 20 July 2020

A consultation on an overarching Code of Practice has been launched today, 20 July, which will be key to the work of the new industry regulator, when they are eventually appointed.

The Code, which outlines standards designed to promote trust in the industry, references areas including transparency on Referral Fees, adherence to Client Money Protection Regulations, data management, and consumer complaints.

The Code applies to:

  • Property sales/purchases
  • Property lettings
  • Property management
  • Property auctions
  • Property guardians
  • Rent-to-rent arrangements
  • International property agents

It is designed to sit above a number of sector-specific codes:

  • Residential Property Sales – Estate Agents
  • Residential Property Lets – Letting Agents
  • Residential Leasehold Management - Leasehold Management Agents
  • Commonhold Management - Commonhold Management Agents
  • Retirement Housing Management - Retirement Housing Managers
  • Property Auctions - Auctioneers
  • Property Guardian Services - Property Guardian Companies
  • Residential Property Buying Services – Buying Agents
  • Build to Rent

On the topic of Qualifications, the overarching Code requires that agents:

  • Must be fit and proper persons.
  • Must ensure that all staff have been given proper instructions and training about complying with relevant laws and the requirements of this Code applicable to their role.
  • Must ensure that all staff are trained to deal with consumers and colleagues in a manner that encourages and respects equality, diversity, and inclusion. (See the Equality and Human Rights Commission.)
  • Must ensure that staff are qualified to the levels specified by the Regulator, trained, and hold the appropriate licence (where applicable) to undertake the responsibilities delegated to them.
  • Must maintain documentary evidence showing the training provided to all staff and individuals' ongoing training required to meet the relevant Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

In a further development, Karin Smyth MP for Bristol South, this morning put a question to the Housing Minister about when the Government will bring forward legislative proposals to establish an independent regulator.

Quote mark

The Government remains committed to raising professionalism and standards amongst property agents and is grateful for the final report of the independent Regulation of Property Agents working group, chaired by Lord Best.

We welcome the recent appointment of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town as the Chair of a new independent steering group on codes of practice for property agents as an important development towards ensuring all customers are treated fairly and all agents work to the same high standards.

Through our collective efforts are currently focussed on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will respond to the report of Lord Best’s working group, setting out next steps, following careful consideration of its 53 recommendations, and we will consider any code produced by Baroness Hayter’s steering group in due course."

Christopher Pincher MP

Propertymark will be responding and is encouraging agents from across the industry to feed their views into this consultation.

The consultation