Agency groups have spoken in favour of the government’s call for letting agents to be trained as a mandatory part of the increased regulation of the private rental sector.
Few details were given of the training specifics but the proposal was contained in the consultation document released this week concerning mandatory client money protection.
Alison Nunez, managing director of Andrews Property Group Letting & Management, says such a request should be embraced because it will help to highlight those operators who currently fall way below what consumers deserve.
“Andrews Letting & Management has always placed the utmost value on both internal training systems and ensures that all staff are regulated through membership of external industry bodies. The reality is, however, that there are some players within the sector for whom a telephone number, website and email address are deemed to be the only tools needed to trade” she says.
“Whilst many of these will operate honourably, it is our belief that being able to demonstrate that customer service is paramount and that adherence to new legislation is recognised, is not an onerous demand on the industry” Nunez adds.
And Iain McKenzie, chief executive of the Guild of Property Professionals - which this week announced an ID system for member agents who had passed Trading Standards-approved training criteria - also welcomed the initiative.
“We are fully committed to raising standards in estate agency through education. Our new and improved Associate Scheme, which is accredited by Cambridgeshire Trading Standards, includes a program of training for both lettings, as well as another for sales” he comments.
Training of agents is not a new idea: the Welsh Government introduced it as part of the Rent Smart Wales initiative early this year.