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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Queen’s Speech: What agents can expect as future laws are laid out

The government’s legislative agenda will be set out this morning in the Queen’s Speech and there are plenty of potential laws that could hit the agency sector.

The main surprise of this morning’s state opening of Parliament could be if the Queen has to step aside at the last minute due to her ill-health, leaving Prince Charles to lead proceedings.

But could there be any legislative surprises such as the creation of minimum standards in estate agency three years after the Regulations of Property Agents (ROPA) report?

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Here is what could be in store.

Levelling up

The levelling up agenda is a key part of government policy and a flagship law in the speech is expected to be the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at trade body Propertymark, said: “A lack of supply is the biggest issue facing the housing market right now.

“We’re expecting the widely anticipated Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to be a key element if the UK Government is to deliver its own target of 300,000 new homes per year and ensure a sufficient amount of supply across all tenures coming to the market, whether that’s through planning reform or making better use of unused properties.”

Simon Leadbetter, global chief executive of Fine & Country, added: “In his first speech as Prime Minister in 2019, Boris Johnson pledged he would ‘level up across Britain’, stating the mission would be achieved by 2030.

“I suspect we will see these efforts doubled so that the government can make good on these promises and deliver on their objectives, such as reducing the number of ‘non-decent rented homes and increasing the number of homes built where they are needed.

“I think it is also possible that we see those with a second home get hit by increased Council Tax.”
 

Economic crime

New laws are expected to tackle money laundering.

Douglas added: “Agents have a major part to play in the battle against money laundering and a second Economic Crime Bill that reforms Companies House will be central to helping them do that. 

“The UK Government must ensure that Companies House is empowered and adequately resourced to be able to verify information and ensure the accuracy of the Register of Overseas Entities.”

Cost of living crisis

The government keeps hinting that it can do more to help struggling households with rising energy bills.

This could be a good chance to do so.

Leadbetter said: “The soaring cost of living and energy bills will definitely be on the cards for the Queen’s Speech, and we might see something around green growth, but also a commitment to domestic fossil fuels, to reduce the dependency on oil imports in light of the Ukraine crisis.”

Douglas added: “With energy prices top of the agenda at the moment the UK Government must acknowledge it needs to do more to support the retrofitting of existing housing stock to enable homeowners equal access to the tailored and sustained funding they need to meet targets on EPC ratings.”

  • Vilesh Rew

    “Agents have a major part to play in the battle against money laundering (however we shall not pay them for their efforts. Actually, we will charge them for the work they do for us). "

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