Agents asked for views on first draft of future Code of Practice

Agents, consumers and property industry groups are being asked for feedback on a future code of practice for the sector.

A consultation has been launched to get feedback on the Code of Practice for Residential Property Agents that will form the basis of future regulations.

The consultation, which opens today (Monday July 20), is based on the recommendations made by Lord Best in his Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) report of last year, and with the intention of being used by the future regulator to both authorise and oversee agents.

The overarching code is proposed to have two sections, one dealing with consumers and one for managing businesses and staff.

It addresses issues such as encouraging and respecting diversity, treating consumers fairly, agent training and development, conflicts of interests, complaints handling, handling client money and data protection.

It also sets standards for transparency of communication and reporting property safety issues.

The rules will apply to agents both individually and as a business and the code also confirms that those working in the sector will require appropriate qualifications.

It is intended for the overarching code to apply to all estate agents across the UK, lettings and managing agents in England and all others carrying out residential property agency work, whether traditional high street, online or hybrid, even if it is not their largest or traditional core function.

However, self-managing landlords and Airbnb-style listings are not mentioned in the code.

Sitting underneath this main code and principles, will be sector codes covering specific agent services such as leasehold and block management, which will be developed later year.

Baroness Hayter, chair of the Code of Practice Steering Group, said: “The new code of practice will look to set standards at a higher level than currently legally set. The ambition of the code is that it will become a requirement for obtaining a licence to practice in the future, which will increase trust across the sector.

“Input from consumers, stakeholders, interest groups and the industry is paramount to ensuring that the code of practice is balanced, fit for purpose and meets the requirements of a future regulator.”

The consultation will remain open for two months, closing on September 4.

It can be read and responded to at: https://consultations.intstandards.org/consult.ti/ropa/consultationHome

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7 Comments

  1. DASH94

    Going into what looks to be one the most challenging economic periods for decades, that’s what we need – more regulation.

    It’s like telling a drowning person that their breaststroke technique needs work

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    1. RichardHill61

      No further comments required! You’ve summed it up perfectly

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  2. Mrlondon52

    I take a different view. As an industry we should be pushing for higher standards all day every day. A good code of practice is essential.

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    1. Woodentop

      we should, suggests you haven’t a clue about the codes we already have or you are not in the industry.

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  3. Ding Dong

    most agents have a code of practice for the TPO and have probably never read it.

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  4. Woodentop

    It addresses issues such as encouraging and respecting diversity, treating consumers fairly, agent training and development, conflicts of interests, complaints handling, handling client money and data protection.

    It also sets standards for transparency of communication and reporting property safety issues.

     

    Hello, we have codes of conduct and regulations covering all these practices for over a decade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People who come up with these ideas live in ivory towers and don’t have a clue what they are talking about. The problem if anything, isn’t codes and regulations, it is lack of enforcement by the same people who want to make new rules, laughable.

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    1. Estate Agent W1

      Woodentop, may I suggest that it is not the codes of conduct that is the issue, it is more about certain people trading in this industry who think a party wall is somewhere to have a disco. Like other countries in the world we need a standard qualification that everyone in the industry needs to have before they get involved. At the moment we have different boys clubs who take your money, give you some letters after your name and then have a good time spending your money on jollies with their mates. We need a serious player like the RICS who have the ear of the government and sweeping powers to get rid of the rubbish and create some sort of level playing field for the public in general. I appreciate that Government meddling usually causes a bigger mess but they seam to have the right team together from within the industry so it will be interesting to see what happens. Not happy that after 37 years in the industry I will still have to take exams but if that will sort out the wheat from the chaff I am all for it.

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