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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Regulation of agents: government still pondering next steps

There’s been only a vague government response to the recommendations for an estate and lettings agency regulator.

Last month the Regulation of Property Agents working group - set up by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and chaired by Lord Best - concluded several months of deliberations on the future regulation of the agency sector.

It had 12 meetings and considered evidence from over 100 organisations, and it eventually called for a new independent regulator to lead a new public body to oversee a new regulatory regime for property agents.

It also advocated that the regulator be responsible for an overarching statutory code of practice, with different parts binding on agents depending on their area of work; there would also be qualification requirements for agents, depending on their roles.

But these recommendations were concluded and put to government just a few days before the election of Boris Johnson as Tory leader and then Prime Minister; agreement to publish the recommendations came from former housing minister Heather Wheeler just a few days before she left office in Johnson’s reshuffle.

This has left some industry observers wondering what will become of the report’s findings. Now - in a summer newsletter produced by the MHCLG - the official response has come out.

It says: “The Government will consider the report’s findings carefully and outline next steps in due course.”

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