Estate Agent Today has been given details of the new National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agents Team - the body that will enforce all legislation applying to agents.
A spokesperson told EAT: “Trading Standards has built a team based on resources made available by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
“This so far involves 14 different members (12 members of staff plus two part-time contracted adjudicators). Working closely with our colleagues at MHCLG, we will keep demands and capacity under review on an ongoing basis.”
There will be seven full time officers plus two part-time adjudicators working for Powys County Council, which remains the lead authority for policing estate agents, chiefly the Estate Agents Act 1979. The team leader of this team will be split across both sales and lettings.
At Bristol City Council - announced last week as the enforcement body for lettings, chiefly the Tenant Fees Act 2019, there will be four members of staff, plus the team leader for half of their time.
The NTSELAT spokesperson adds: “We should also emphasise that the bulk of letting agency enforcement work will continue to be delivered by local authorities across England through their own resources.”
Total funding for the combined body will be £740,000; this does not include additional funding, of an unspecified amount, provided to cover start-up costs and training.
Last week the launch statement for the new body said it would specifically:
- oversee the operation of relevant estate and letting agency legislation;
- issue prohibition and formal warning orders to those found unfit to engage in estate agency work in the UK;
- approve and oversee the UK’s consumer redress schemes, Ombudsmen, and Alternative Dispute Resolution entities in the estate agency sector; and
- issue guidance and advice for the public, businesses and enforcement authorities on estate agency work in the UK and relevant letting agency work in England.