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Written by rosalind renshaw

The NAEA told its members this week that it submitted a ‘full response’ to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills’ consultation on changing the Estate Agents Act.

The NAEA, which has been under fire for apparently leaving members in the dark earlier, said in its weekly email that ‘creating a new exemption from important consumer protection legislation is definitely the wrong direction of travel’.

The consultation closed on August 10 after very few agents had known it was going on, or had been told what the proposed changes would involve.

Vince Cable’s government department wants to amend the 1979 Act to allow non-traditional agents – online operators, for example, and supermarkets – to be able to operate in the sector outside the scope of the legislation. They would not, for example, have to belong to an Ombudsman scheme.

Estate agents as currently defined by the Act would still have to comply.

The NAEA told members this week: “Our position is that compliance with the EAA is not a burden, and that if a new exemption is introduced it could be exploited by unscrupulous internet agents based in the UK or overseas.

“All consumers must have access to an Ombudsman scheme, especially as a large proportion of them get no choice in whether they deal with a traditional agent or an internet agent. 

“The public probably presume that all agents are subject to some form of positive mandatory licensing by the government. This underlines the confusion that would be caused if the EAA was altered in a way that leads to one level of protection for consumers when they deal with traditional agents, but a drastically reduced level of protection when they deal with internet agents.

“An important issue that BIS and other government departments need to ponder is if the proposal would lead the UK government to breach its own European and international anti-money laundering commitments. Breaching these commitments can be very politically embarrassing.

“We have suggested a different approach which is to bring lettings agents into the statutory definition, plus the possible introduction of the currently dormant parts of the EAA concerning insurance cover for client money and standards of competence.”

The NAEA also told members that it is fighting to have the Property Misdescriptions Act retained, alongside the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

The NAEA said: “Although there is an argument that dual presence of the PMA and the new regulations risk double jeopardy of prosecution for agents, on balance our view is that PMA should be retained. The PMA is specific to property and provides certainty, whereas the new regulations are generic to all traders.”

Comments

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    Poster no name, try the one in the post, but if thats too hard try belonging to a Redress Scheme, on Anti-Money Laundering Register and Register of Data Controllers, 1000s are not on any yet alone all 3, how about you mate?

    • 28 August 2012 13:35 PM
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    ".........The NAEA.........submitted a ‘full response’.........."

    It would be very interesting to know exactly WHEN it was submitted?

    NAEA - answer please?

    • 28 August 2012 09:31 AM
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    "Which law exactly do you think agents are not complying with? " x4

    Groundhog Day, Lol.

    I am not sure why the likes of Tesco's could not set up an estate agency department, join the Property Ombudsman like everyone else and get trading without a change in the law? Unless of course their plan is to use vendor photos and measurements without actually visiting the properties themselves.

    This could I guess put them in breech of the Property Misdescriptions Act as they could be misleading buyers if the data provided by the vendor was incorrect.

    Are there not already websites out there that take vendor photos etc. and advertise them to the public and if so, what difference is there?

    I'm struggling to see the difficulty for Tescos. Why do they need to change the Estate Agents act?

    As for the NAEA. I have never been a member and I don't believe that agents should be forced to join. Estate agents are already governed by legislation on a number of fronts and Trading Standards are there to regulate Estate Agents and other forms of business in the UK. Why then should we be forced to add another middleman with added related costs!

    My business has been trading for a decade now without a single complaint to the Ombudsman. We do everything by the book, are proffesional and treat our customers with respect, the way it should be. Forcing me to join the NAEA will not change anything, but it will cost me more and these costs would need to be passed on to my customers, which is hardly fair on them.

    If there are rogue agents out there, they should be routed out by Trading Standards not the NAEA, in my humble opinion.

    • 25 August 2012 01:18 AM
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    Which law exactly do you think agents are not complying with?

    • 24 August 2012 16:20 PM
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    Which law exactly do you think agents are not complying with?

    • 24 August 2012 16:20 PM
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    Which law exactly do you think agents are not complying with?

    • 24 August 2012 16:20 PM
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    Which law exactly do you think agents are not complying with?

    • 24 August 2012 16:20 PM
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    Perhaps if agents complied with current legislation new would not be needed? eg How many are actually registered with the Ombudsman? Do the NAEA for example ask to see the companies registrations? I suspect not.

    • 24 August 2012 13:52 PM
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    @ @ Ray Evans on 2012-08-24 11:00:44

    As an elder statesman of the industry perhaps you could suggest the best way to describe...." the incompetant, self destructing set up of the National Association"

    You have just done that!

    • 24 August 2012 11:37 AM
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    As an elder statesman of the industry perhaps you could suggest the best way to describe the incompetant, self destructing set up of the National Association?

    There will be good and inspiring individuals looking at the job of MD for the NAEA who wil not apply because there seems no logical way back from wilderness PBK created.
    We have seen from the supporting posts on EA that his sycophants remain and even with a new MD very little is likely to change, as the saying goes "only an idiot would try to teach a cat to swim"

    • 24 August 2012 11:00 AM
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    @ DerYerTekDSS? on 2012-08-24 09:57:13

    I agree with much of your comment.

    However, if you want to be taken seriously by those in authority, please watch the lanquage?

    • 24 August 2012 10:25 AM
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    "What planet are these NAEA fuckwits on?"

    Don't be too hard on them, after all until a new MD is appointed all that is left at Arbon House is a collection of PBK's puppets. They are not used to having their own thoughts so when the opportunity comes up it is hardly surprising they have very little to say.

    • 24 August 2012 10:22 AM
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    So...the NAEA produce a limp wet lettuce response to Gov proposals:

    'creating a new exemption from important consumer protection legislation is definitely the wrong direction of travel’ - worthy of John Inman.

    ...and then seek to get the Gov to dump more regulation on us with CMP, lettings inclusion in EAA & competence standards.

    What planet are these NAEA fuckwits on?

    • 24 August 2012 09:57 AM
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    ".........The NAEA told its members this week that it submitted a ‘full response’.........."

    It would be very interesting to know exactly WHEN it was submitted?

    • 24 August 2012 09:37 AM
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