The new code of conduct for estate agents has been dismissed as “a waste of time” - and the senior industry figures who are involved in the process have been called “a bunch of busy bodies.”
Buying agent Henry Pryor angrily took to Twitter to vent his dismay for the start of the consultation process for the new code of conduct, announced yesterday.
The code is being drawn up by senior representatives of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Propertymark, The Property Ombudsman, the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agents Team, Property Redress Scheme and many others.
It is the first practical manifestation of the recommendations made a year ago this month by Lord Best’s high profile Regulation of Property Agents working party.
The code will include agent training and development, conflicts of interests, complaints handling, handling client money, transparency of communication and reporting property safety issues.
However, on one tweet Pryor referred to the as-yet unfinished code as “a waste of time and a distraction” while on another he wrote that “A bunch of busy bodies with too much time on their hands came up with a 14 point ‘code’ to solve problems that those who routinely ignore the law will simply wave two fingers at.”
The group writing the code are now consulting with agents and consumers over what they want to see the final version contain; the consultation closes in early September and the group - led by Labour Baroness Dianne Hayter - aims to have the work completed by the end of this year.
Comments left on articles in the trade press yesterday were mixed-to-critical of the code of conduct’s 14 broad principles, which several pointed out were like those already in place through The Property Ombudsman.
Viewber founder Ed Mead, an agent for over three decades, said in a Twitter video that he was a fan of higher standards in principle but worried that the current process involves a large group of industry figures consulting widely: he would rather two or three people "who knew what they were doing" to implement the ROPA recommendations.
If you missed it, here’s our story on the new code from yesterday, including the full list of industry figures involved.