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New industry regulator and qualifications ‘in place within two years’

A new industry regulator is likely to be in place within two years according to the chair of the government’s Regulation of Property Agents working party, ROPA.

Mandatory qualifications for agents - whatever their previous experience - are likely to be phased in thereafter.

Lord Richard Best told The Property Ombudsman conference yesterday that the final meeting of his working party takes place today, Thursday, with its recommendations being presented to housing minister Heather Wheeler MP on Monday.


The recommendations are likely to be unanimously agreed by ROPA and are expected to be released to the industry and the public in the very near future.

As the working party and appropriate politicians are still considering the issues, Lord Best was unable to give specific details but told delegates:

- every ‘consumer meeting’ agent or representative in an agency would have to hold a qualification of some kind;

- there would be no ‘grandfathering’ - that is, everyone would have to secure a qualification even if they had decades of past experience but no formal qualification;

- every qualified agent would then be a license holder and only those license holders would be able to engage in a list of ‘reserved activities’ - that is, core selling or letting activities;

- there would be a Code of Practice for the industry, with specifics to be worked out by current trade bodies such as the NAEA, ARLA, TPO and others;

- the regulator would be in place within two years and qualifications would roll out from that time.

Lord Best also posed the question as to whether this may put some agents out of work - he said Yes, although emphasised that their future success was down to their own adoption of the new regulations.

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    Another hidden tax to obtain more revenue, although i agree everyone should be qualified, i am not so sure if it is required if you have 10 years plus experience? however, i would welcome such an introduction, perhaps fee's will then increase in line with other countries where agents are licensed....

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    • 11 July 2019 10:18 AM

    Barriers to entry would greatly improve the professionalism of the industry.
    Fees similar to solicitors wouldn't then be unreasonable.
    There would be a much smaller cadre of experienced EA with more properties as a result of consolidation.
    This can only be good for the general public.
    It will also be very good for dedicated EA professionals.
    Bring on exams and a regulator ASAP!

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    • S S
    • 11 July 2019 11:43 AM

    Yes I agree with regulation BUT to say that there is no "grandfathering" is unfair to the businesses and business owners that have themselves undertaken qualifications and encouraged and often paid for employees to do so as well. Business that have invested in staff training before regulation should be rewarded as they have spent money and time investing in their staff. Forcing them to do it all over again at their cost is not beneficial and punitive and given all the other costs and regulations being forced upon the industry, Businesses don't need duplicate costs....After all - study for 3 years for a Degree, get through the RICS qualification, work in the Industry for 30 years - complete CPD every year for RICS, ARLA, ANEA then effectively say SORRY - you're not qualified to do the job !!!! Ridiculous and lessens the professionalism of the Industry and it makes RICS, ARLA, NAEA all WORTHLESS....Lets hope that Propertymark and RICS actually stand up for agents and business in this process.

    • 11 July 2019 12:17 PM

    Yep totally agree there should be a grandfathering process.
    But for newbies the qualifications route will apply as in fact happened in the Transport industry.
    Now no driver may drive for money without a CPC qualification
    Costs about £300 every 5 years for 30 hrs of COMPULSORY CPD training

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    Absolutely! Totally unfair, I for one after 30 years in the industry will retire before I go back to school!

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    Having worked in property training for some 13 years and being involved in property apprenticeships this is welcome news for me. My youngest learner has been 16 and the oldest 63 - you're never too young or too old to learn something new.

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    As a small agency we are forever keeping up with the red tape and regulation set on us by the government.
    Now ROPA headed by Lord Best are talking about bringing in qualifications.
    How much will this so called Licence cost to operate?
    Perhaps they are hoping that if smaller firms are forced to go via a expensive course to qualify and then charged a exorbitant Licence Fee, the smaller agents will find it harder to keep up with the extra costs and burden and simply full away from the industry, so the public shall be left with larger agencies whom will charge what they like.
    As a small independent most Landlords and Tenants come to my agency in comparison to the larger agencies as they feel that they get a more personal & professional service. It is imperative that this continues in order to give choice to the public as part of this competitive industry.
    The Government recently implemented the tenant fee ban, so now the Landlord or Agent have to pay for the tenants references, how mad a idea was that ! Surely the Tenant expects to pay towards their references and a contribution towards the inventory (which is there to protect their interests). This was all because the government bend down every time Generation Rent or Shelter tells the Government to jump ...They say how high!!
    Propertymark should support all agencies! The idea of being part of a regulatory organisation was to make the public aware that I am a agent with integrity and someone whom can be trusted to give the best advice to all I deal with, I personally keep in touch with the constant changes, but now the Industry are not recognising the good work carried out by many of us and telling us to do exams, break our heads a bit more and pay a load of money for a licence to operate !!

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    • 12 July 2019 13:43 PM

    I think its a bit unfair if you cant grandfather as a lot of people including myself have been in the industry for a long time having to sit an exam and if not passed could be out of a job plus smaller companies having to fund qualification etc.


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