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Lord Best: ROPA reforms won't break the bank for agents

Further estate agency regulation won’t be too expensive for the industry, Lord Best has said.

Lord Best, who led the Regulation of Property Agents (ROPA) working group, has suggested a new industry regulator would need some initial funding to get started for costs such as staff but insisted it “wouldn’t break the bank” for agents.

Speaking to Estate Agent Today after the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee, which Lord Best sits on, urged the Government to get on with implementing the ROPA recommendations, he said: “If you have 1.25m sales across the industry each year and agents pay a couple of quid per transaction for a regulator, that is not going to make a difference to them.


“Even £5 for every sale wouldn’t break the bank.

“If the agents pass regulatory costs on 100% to their customers, it actually doesn’t make very much difference at these rates.”

Lord Best added that he and the committee don’t have a regulatory charge in mind but suggested a fee per property rather than agency would be fair.

The committee has suggested a new regulator would make a difference by driving up standards in the sector and proactively enforcing against bad agents.

It said current forms of enforcement and redress are reactive and limited in scope and also called for the creation of just one ombudsman scheme for the sector, which could effectively mean either The Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme lose role.

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    Made a Lord by Tony Blair!!!!! Lord Best is chair of so many organisations and at 78 should retire from a few. This country does not need more regulation and wasteful costs on industry supporting another load of bureaucrats. Over the years i have seen so many new regulations all threatening huge fines or prison for non compliance. Depressing.

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    The Grim ROPA strikes again!

  • Hit Man

    PropertMark are not helping, what do they hope to gain from it?


    Propertymark are trying to ensure every estate agent in the land has to be a member and take their qualifications.... so a few £million every year!

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    In the recent discourse surrounding the regulation of the UK estate agency industry, a prevailing concern arises: are estate agents to allow unelected Lords to determine their fate? This rhetorical question encapsulates the apprehension felt by many within the industry, including myself, regarding the proposed regulatory measures. It begs the question: why impose additional regulations upon estate agents when numerous other industries seem to sidestep such scrutiny, despite arguably meriting it more?

    The existing legislative framework governing estate agents, notably the Estate Agents Act, mandates registration with pertinent authorities such as ombudsmen, the IPO office, and HMRC for Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) compliance. These stringent requirements already ensure accountability and transparency within the industry. Furthermore, agents have the option to pursue accreditation through organisations like Propertymark, further bolstering professionalism and ethical standards.

    However, amidst these robust regulatory structures, one cannot overlook the underlying motivations behind calls for further regulation. It raises valid concerns about the vested interests at play, particularly concerning organisations like Propertymark. What incentive do they truly have beyond financial gain in advocating for increased regulation? It appears evident that their agenda may not wholly align with the best interests of estate agents, raising questions about their impartiality in representing our industry.

    Instead of unilateral decisions made by select entities, it is imperative to democratise the process. Let us advocate for transparency and fairness by subjecting proposed regulatory measures to a general vote, involving all UK agencies. Such an approach would provide an accurate gauge of industry sentiment and ensure that any regulatory changes garner genuine support from those directly affected.

    In conclusion, the proposed regulations risk encroaching upon the autonomy and integrity of the UK estate agency industry without substantial justification. The existing framework adequately addresses concerns regarding professionalism and compliance. Therefore, before hastily endorsing further regulations, let us critically evaluate their necessity and ensure that any proposed measures truly serve the interests of estate agents and the industry at large.


    Well written and hear hear!

    Hit Man

    "Exactly right. Perhaps PropertyMark should have considered this before lobbying the government and disregarding their paying members."

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    This is a typically arrogant comment from Best, RoPA is a disgraceful piece of work, concocted behind closed doors by a small collection of individuals representing significant vested interest and without any meaningful declaration of such. It is the worst type of policy making and reflects very badly on Best and our system of government.
    Nothing within RoPA will make a single iota of difference to the industry, especially as "proactively enforcing against bad agents" will remain the job of Trading Standards who don't have the resources to enforce the current laws let alone new ones.
    Enough of this tripe.

  • charlotte Jeffrey- campbell

    I suppose the question to all the commentators saying we don't need regulation is "would you be happy having your mortgages and banks provided by non regulated businesses"?? They probably thought regulation was a pain too!


    As an agent trainer, we will all understand how attractive legaly mandated training would be for you and your business.

    Hit Man

    Many agents operate under regulation, as highlighted by David Randall. Opting for an unregulated agent becomes a consumers choice. Nevertheless, entities like Trading Standards possess the authority to shut down unregulated agents, despite having the capability to identify and address misconduct selectively. Instead, they sometimes resort to heavy-handed tactics against regulated agents for minor infractions.

  • Kieran Ryan

    Whats so concerning, the Lords are so out of touch with the property industry and you dont need any qualifications to become and MP or even a Prime Minister?? What do you think is more important?

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    800,000 agency completions a year ... the others do not involve an agent ... but why would Lord Best have the correct analysis after all he is just looking to regulate agents, just shows the ivory tower mentality. Reformation of the Upper House and some fresh thinking from people under the age of 40 let alone nearly 80 might be a better way to guide agecy through the digital transformation of realestate. In the past half decade this dead donkey of an idea has been kicking around vast swathes of real estate operations have been digitalized and digitized, and the journey for home buyers and tenants is significantly changing almost monthly. Wisdom comes with age, but too much age in the present world which is digitally spinning far faster than it takes to get statutes on the book, shows that private enterprise trumps things dreamed up by people who do not sit on the frontline of industry experience.


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