Agents petition to be regulated

Property agents are signing and sharing a petition requesting for the government to regulate the sector.

The thinking is that regulation would drive up standards and effectively drive out the rogues that give the industry a bad name.

The petition suggests the UK adopts a system similar to Ireland, where the Property Services Regulatory Authority insists that agents get a licence, and manages complaints and compensation.

It seems there’s frustration that the government’s Renters Reform White paper doesn’t address the issue.

Bernie Wales

The Petition reads: “Regulation of Property Agents has been requested by industry bodies for many years – and a Government working party investigated and reported – yet nothing has happened since.

“Ireland has a working system, which could be copied (why reinvent the wheel). The working group’s recommendations must be put into law now.

“Rogue agents too often continue in business unchallenged, which is bad for all. Too many leaseholders and other consumers continue to lose money due to bad practice and/or fraudulent behaviour of rogues. IRPM, RICS, and others are all calling for regulation – there is almost unanimous support for regulation. There is no reason to delay. Legislate now, please.”

The petition comes from Bernie Wales, a real estate professional who provides leasehold advice, consultancy, training and resources.

At the time of writing it has received 592 signatures.

Maxine Fothergill, president of ARLA Propertymark, posted in support of the petition on the social media site LinkedIn.

She wrote: “We are now in receipt of the ‘Renters Reform’ white paper.

“In this paper there are plenty of regulations for landlords but no real mention of #lettingsagent?

“For a long time now, those of us who take our jobs seriously, gain our professional #qualifications and also run business’s where we in turn, train others to high standards and professionalism, want and need to see ‘Regulations of Property Agents’ #ropa

Maxine Fothergill

“#landlords #propertyinvestors #bltinvestors all want to know there (sic) #properties are being managed professionally by #agents who know what they are doing in line with the 170 existing parts of #landlordandtenant #legislation, however, The Conservative Party #goverment has sidelined our industry within this White Paper, are introducing more #regulations for landlords and so far, have done nothing to deal with the bad #unregulated #agents who will continue to trade and rip off the public with their bad practice. 😡

“Much work was done by #lordbest and collectively from so many representing us with the property industry including Propertymark The Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) RICS The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC) to name but a few who were all 100% in support of #ropa however, its not really been mentioned within the White Paper?

“If you feel strongly about the need for our industry to be regulated which in turn will drive out the #Rogue #unregulated #traders, please sign this new petition.”

Commenting on the post, property manager Jenny Clark, owner of Eaten-Terry Clark, responded: “It would be unbelievably short-sighted to continue reform of the industry without regulation. Let’s all lobby our MPs….. (sic)”

Comments 3

  1. So for letting agents licensing would…
    As above…

    “drive up standards and effectively drive out the rogues”
    I am sure this makes sense

    Surely the same would apply to a licence (based on previous letting references and maybe a credit score) for every potential TENANT so landlords can see the tenant might just be safe to allow into their property. Or not.
    My guess is a very high proportion might not get a helpful licence??

    A comment from generation rent and shelter is appropriate please.

    Maybe I will start a petition.

  2. Renminds me of Turkeys voting for Chrstmas.

    It is frightening as I also learn today that cat owners are to be regulated. this will lead to increasling yearly fees to employ yet more civilservants to produce more incontinent pages of rules and regulations. Poor cat owners!!

    What is the point of being regulated? Just look at other professions whose highly regulated members still end up in prison for misdemeanours.

    This will invlove traing in burucracy, paying a yearly fee to employ yet more civil servants, via a quango to inpsect our homs and gardens.

    What is wrong with this countries Politicians? Eventually we will have no time for our business, as like GP’s, Police etc., we will be form filling all day

  3. As the creator of the petition, I am pleased it is being supported publicly by many property professionals – including my friend and colleague; Maxine. Having said that – there are many more who say they support regulation but are not willing to sign the petition … which is a shame.

    Long leaseholders and AST tenants mostly seem supportive, from what I’ve seen on social media and my email inbox.

    My only request, dear reader, is please sign and share the petition with anyone you know who lives in a flat … or is an AST tenant … or a property professional. Thanks in anticipation. BernieWales

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