Law Commission publishes report on valuation in enfranchisement
8th January, 2020 Today the Law [glossary_exclude]Commission[/glossary_exclude] publishes its report on valuation in enfranchisement. The [glossary_exclude]Commission[/glossary_exclude] sets out options to...
Today, 18th July 2019, the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (RoPA), Chaired by Lord Best, publishes its report and recommendations for a new regulatory approach for property agents.
The report follows the Government’s responses to its calls for evidence on:
- protecting consumers in the letting and managing agent market ; and
- improving the home buying and selling process
LEASE was one of ten members of RoPA, including Citizens Advice, National Trading Standards, ARMA and IRPM, tasked by Government to make regulation of property agents by an independent regulator, and with mandatory qualifications and a code of practice, a reality.
- The new regulatory framework should cover all those carrying out property agency work (including auctioneers, rent-to-rent firms, property guardian providers, international property agents, and online agents).
- A new regulator should be established, accountable to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and funded by regulated firms and individuals.
- The new regulator should:
- take over from the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) the power to block a landlord’s chosen managing agent where the leaseholders have reasonably exercised a veto;
- take over responsibility for the approval of property agent redress and client money protection schemes;
- perform checks that legal obligations have been met, including the passing of a ‘fit-and-proper person test’ and relevant qualifications;
- be responsible for a single, high-level set of principles applicable to all property agents set in statute: the ‘overarching’ code. Underneath the overarching code would be ‘regulatory’ codes specific to various aspects of property agent practice, binding those providing those types of service;
- have a statutory duty to ensure transparency of leaseholder and freeholder charges, and should work with the sector (property agents, developers and consumers) to draw up the detail of the regulatory codes to underpin this aim as it applies to property agents;
- have the power to vary licensing conditions as it sees fit and that it maintains accessible records of licensed property agents.
- As Government considers broader reforms to the leasehold and freehold charges regime, the working group recommend a role for the new regulator in enforcing compliance with any new requirements applying to managing agents.
LEASE’s Chair, Wanda Goldwag, said:
“We are pleased to have participated in the work of RoPA and in the production of recommendations, with consumer protection at their heart, to drive out rogues and ensure professionalism in property agency work”