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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agents’ qualifications must be priority for new government says ARLA

The new government must prioritise the implementation of proposals to ensure letting agents and others in the industry are appropriately qualified.

That’s the view of the chief executive of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents, David Cox.

He says: “Now that the election has brought some political stability, tenants will likely be looking for properties again and the new government must recognise the importance of making the market attractive for both tenants and landlords. 

“They must be very careful about reforming Section 21 which could cause supply to plummet; and if it is to be abolished, Section 8 must be reformed first and a new specialist Housing tribunal created. Without this, supply will almost certainly fall which will have the consequential effect of raising rents.

“Further, the government should seek to reassure tenants by implementing the recommendations set out by the Regulation of Property Agents working group; something we have long called for. 

“These are substantial changes, but it’s important that the government ensures everyone in the industry is qualified and adheres to a strict code of practice.”

The Regulation of Property Agents working party recommends:

- a new independent regulator to lead a new public body to oversee a new regulatory regime for property agents; 

- the new regulatory regime will be binding on companies, and certain individuals, that act as intermediaries to property transactions; 

- those who are regulated will have to be licensed by the new regulator;

- the regulator will also be responsible for an overarching statutory code of practice, with different parts binding on agents depending on their area of work;

- a new ‘modular’ approach to qualifications, required for individuals within regulated companies “allowing agents to become proficient in those aspects of property agent work as suits the needs of their role and career, subject to minimum requirements”; and

- the new regulator is central to “a system of enforcement and redress which takes on, at their discretion, the support of national and local trading standards, of redress schemes, and of professional bodies.”

  • James B

    I’m really surprised Arla are shouting for that ! £££

  • jeremy clarke

    Given the spineless fight that ARLA put up for their members over the Tenant Fee Ban Act, what possible interest could they have in any formal qualifications? Could it gave anything to do with £'ss?
    No, surely not?
    What we need as agents is an organisation that represents all, not just those who part with money to put a sticker in the windows and pay salaries for directors who have their own agenda and just bow down to every government suggestion.
    They should not assume that their qualifications and training will be the benchmark and they and other organisations should fight for a grandfathering regime to support those in our industry with many years experience.

  • icon

    So if can pass an ARLA exam, that makes you an expert!! what a load of horse s*** all this will do is line the pockets of ARLA even more, and those really good agents with years and years of experience will no longer be around, I have over 20 years experience in lettings and will not be sitting a exam to prove I can do my job, I passed my exam in 2007, but my subscription expired, I will now have to resit the exam which I am not going to do.

  • icon

    What we need is a good group that will support both agents and Landlords as many of us are both. What we currently have are spineless bodies who are only interested in the membership fees and anything else they can squeeze out of us.

  • Mark Wilson

    Do ARLA members really want/need more regulation? Do customers want us to have more regulation?
    Why doesn't ARLA have referendum on the subject and put it to the members!

  • Paul Barrett

    The problem is for LA is that too many of the rogues have done runners with vast amounts of funds belonging to LL and tenants.
    There are no real barriers to entry to be a LA and that is a major problem.
    Personally I wouldn't even trust a LA with CMP or my deposits.
    I'll be paid rent directly and retain deposits.
    If LA don't like my way of doing business then I won't ever be a client of their's.
    Nothing wrong with invoicing for the monthly management charge paid with a DD.
    No way would I allow any LA to have ANYTHING to do with rent collection or deposits.
    The sums involved can be enormous..
    Simply too much temptation.
    Unregulated LA can do a runner with such large sums with very little chance of recompense for either LL or tenant.
    That is why LA need to be Regulated like Solicitors.
    That way LA will build up a trusted image.
    Currently I wouldn't trust a LA as far as I could throw them!!

    icon

    Calm down, Paul, it is bad for your health.

     
  • icon

    How many regulated solicitors run off with clients money? I bet as many if not more than LA have and they are heavily regulated!! So regulation works does it? How many regulated banks and trust fund managers have misappropriated funds? And you think regulated LA/Estate Agents will fair better? Rogues are all around us and this will never change.

    Paul Barrett

    The point of regulation is not to prevent the rogues.
    It is for redress to occur when roguery occurs.
    No regulation ever prevented criminality.
    But to ensure that stolen money is refunded regulation is required.
    On your assessment nobody needs to be Regulated as it makes no difference to Regulated activity.
    Why bother gave any Laws at all as everyone breaks them!
    Nope LA have to faceup to regulation like it or not.
    So get your collective house in order.
    Mind you I believe some sort of similar regulation is required for LL as well.

     
  • Paul Barrett

    @lyndonbaker
    Indeed I'm calm!!
    Just there is a problem with rogue LA like there is with rogue tenants.
    I appreciate as far as LA much like most LL they are all above board.
    But when it goes wrong the financial ramifications for a LL can be enormous.
    This is why I am NOT prepared to trust a LA.
    Nothing personal simply business!!
    Were there more robust regulations in force I would perhaps become more trusting!!
    Personally I feel that such LA regulation would encourage more LL to use LA.
    So perversely for LA more thorough regulation could result in more business from LL!!
    Look upon Regulation as a marketing plus for LA!!

  • icon

    Some people Aztec Missing the point. LA legally must have CMP, so the argument does not stick about LA running off with peoples money. However LL don’t have this. Also I suggest 90% of LL don’t have any GDPR in place or registered with ICO and follow their guidelines. So currently it looks like LL need more regulation rather than agents. However I do believe most LA don’t know what their doing and should have a qualification. This is not more regulation but a minimum standard of proficiency.

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