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Propertymark: 'Agents are willing to pay for industry regulation'

Agents would be happy to pay for regulation but the sector should be wary of costs, a Propertymark executive has told parliament.

Speaking to the the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee inquiry into property agent regulation, Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, said trade body members are already used to funding regulation and standards through their own fees.

Asked how a regulator should be funded, Douglas said the industry has to conscious of the cost of living and inflation as well as interest rates since Lord Best regulation of property agents (ROPA) report was published in 2019.


Douglas said: “There is already supervision if you look at anti-money laundering (AML).

“Agents pay a fee per office to HMRC to be supervised.”

He added that there hasn’t been a dip in Scottish membership since lettings agent regulations and the extra costs associated were introduced in Scotland.

Douglas said: “Cost is an issue but agents would be happy to pay it.

“Agents are already paying for a compliance role through membership of a professional body, that could be built in to reduce some of those costs.”

Luay al-Khatib, director of knowledge and practice at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, added that some of the costs of regulation may be passed onto consumers.

Douglas also suggested that to help with the costs of regulation and getting qualified, any rules and minimum standards should be introduced through a staged process.

He said: “A staged and managed process is important. 

“That could be done through the size of the business and roles such as if you are looking at qualifications per headcount or per size of office.”

The panel, which also included Andrew Bulmer, chief executive of The Property Institute, agreed that a more consistent approach is needed to codes of practice and redress schemes and highlighted that there is little that professional bodies can do if a member is expelled from a professional body and continues to trade.


  • Charlie Lamdin

    If regulation doesn't directly address the problem of deliberate overvaluing, what problems does it solve?


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