The Association of Residential Letting Agents' wing of Propertymark says the recent expulsion of three agents from The Property Ombudsman demonstrates the need for much greater regulation.
The association says the trio of expulsions - all in recent weeks, and all covered on Letting Agent Today - prove that rogue agents tarnish the entire industry.
“Propertymark has long called for government regulation to ensure everyone in the industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice, and holds at least a Level 3 qualification (the level equivalent to an A-level). It offers huge potential for the professionalisation of the sector and to stamp out bad practices” says a statement on the ARLA website.
Almost two years ago the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group. Although little action has happened since, the RoPA group recommended that all lettings and sales staff delivering ‘reserved activities’ should hold a qualification at Level 3 or above.
All political parties back reform but little visible progress has yet been made by government on implementing the recommendations, although the creation of a new code of conduct is known to be in progress.
Now ARLA says: “Following the extensive considerations by the working group, it is now for the Government to create the structures for a properly regulated industry. These are substantial changes that will require agents to start preparing now to ensure that they are well placed for when these proposed qualification requirements are introduced.
“While Propertymark anticipates that the need for property qualifications will be phased in, we advise agents to get ahead of the competition and to stand out by adopting the new requirements early.”
You can see reports on the agents’ TPO expulsions in recent weeks here, here and here.