The chair of the working group introducing mandatory examinations and qualifications for estate and letting agents says senior politicians will meet with the group this week.
Lord Best chaired the Regulation of Property Agents working group, which published its findings at the end of the summer last year.
This week there is to be what he described as “a reunion” of the group, to meet the current Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, and the housing minister Esther McVey, amongst others.
McVey has been the ‘lead politician’ on increased regulation of agents, although she has only been in place since the end of July - much the same time as RoPA published it report.
There is also widespread speculation that there will be a government reshuffle announced shortly, which may affect McVey’s and Jenrick’s positions.
Last week Lord Best insisted that the RoPA recommendations would come to fruition, although it may take two years for the appropriate legislation to be passed.
The recommendations were:
- a new regulator for the industry; it is so far uncertain how this will work in tandem with existing bodies such as the TPO, NAEA and ARLA;
- mandatory qualifications for agents and all those in ‘consumer facing’ positions dealing with buyers, sellers, landlords or tenants;
- whatever their previous experience agents will have to secure qualifications, so there will be no so-called ‘grandfathering’;
- every qualified agent would become ‘licensed’ and only license holders would be able to engage in a list of ‘reserved activities’ - core selling or letting activities;
- there will be substantial penalties for any agent without qualifications who attempts to undertake ‘reserved activities’;
- there will be a new industry Code of Practice with specifics to be worked out by current trade bodies such as the NAEA, ARLA, TPO and others;
- the regulator will be in place within two years and qualifications would roll out from that time.