EYE NEWSFLASH: ‘Agents could close down’ as regulation and minimum qualifications draw nearer

The Government is to be told to introduce regulation right across the agency sector. It will mean minimum qualifications and licences.

Lord Best, chair of the working group on the regulation of property agents (ROPA), revealed that his group’s report will be delivered to the Government on Monday.

The group, whose remit includes both letting and sales agents, is backing the introduction of minimum qualifications that all individual agents will require in order to obtain a licence to operate.

He said there would be no grandfathering –  so everyone will need to complete the qualifications, regardless of their experience or time in the industry.

Speaking at today’s TPO’s conference, he said: “We are going to say yes to a regulator, you are going to be regulated.

“You will become regulated bodies and licensed agents as individuals

“You will need to be licensed and it will be a serious offence to operate without a licence.”

He admitted it could mean agencies close but said it would create a better industry.

Agents will have to complete continuing professional development and follow a code of conduct.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing (MHCLG)  said late last night: “We have been clear that standards across the property agent sector must be raised, and we look forward to hearing the recommendations of the working group’s report on this important issue.”

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24 Comments

  1. smile please

    And there it is, an industry within an industry and a licence to print money.

    This will make Rightmove look cheap in 5 years time once they have their feet under the table.

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  2. J1

    Already voluntarily regulated here so no worries.

    Bye bye onliners like 99p Agency or whoever they are !!

     

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  3. Hullagent

    Surely then this means that any Landlord letting directly to tenants would also need a licence and qualifications, or would have to use an agent if they didn’t?

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    1. chris h

      In your dreams!

      Anyway, now we’ve got compulsory cmp and redress schemes I can’t really see why it’s required anymore.

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  4. GeorgeOrwell

     

    This’ll be our Government, who have successfully agreed F@ck All, for years

    1st thing they could usefully do is clarify what the Government actually does

    B@llocks!

     

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  5. Lettings Guru

    About time. Less talking about it, more doing please. However, I think the “grandfathering” of approved qualifications should remain – otherwise that’s just a cash cow for those offering qualifications. Considerable money has been spent by agents trying to prepare for this and getting staff ARLA trained ahead of the regulation and I think its ill thought out to not respect people who have worked hard to attain qualifications and compliance in the industry already. Sure those chosen to offer the qualifications (and I suspect this will be ARLA  Property Mark) will be all for everyone redoing them!!  
     
    Additionally, Given ARLA Propertymark and other End Point Assessment bodies are already struggling to get people though qualification – getting everyone though in what no doubt will be a limited period is really badly thought out

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  6. TDGC

    I’m wondering if ‘no grandfathering’ means a ‘minimum qualification’ will be one created outside that of NAEA / ARLA. Or, will it be a case that, no matter how long you’ve been in the industry and whatever experience you have, already having an NAEA / ARLA qualification trumps it all.

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  7. AgencyInsider

    ‘Ere we go. There will now be a massive dust up between RICS and NAEA/ARLA over who is to be the regulatory body.

    Hopefully, neither of them!

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  8. AgentTiger

    About time – it will push out those agents that have not completed any qualifications, of which the majority of those are the low fee agents that bring poor quality and service to the industry.

     

    I have spent my time and money becoming qualified as well as investing in my team to ensure they are also, qualified. Unjust that we have to compete for business against those that are unqualified – you would not use a plumber or electrician if they were unqualified and you certainly would not use a solicitor with no legal qualification. Therefore, this will be a good thing and will professionalise the industry which will allow good agents to push up their fees and start reflecting the American realtor market.

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    1. Lettings Guru

      But how do you feel about you having to do all of your qualifications and pay for your team to be requalified – that feels really unfair to me!

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    2. smile please

      “About time – it will push out those agents that have not completed any qualifications, of which the majority of those are the low fee agents that bring poor quality and service to the industry.”
       
      Complete tosh! – Most of the below 1% agents round my way bang on about the letters they have purchased after their name. Some of the worst agents i have come across are ‘Qualified’ and i can say without hesitation the best 10 agents i know do not have a made up qualification from NAEA / ARLA / Whatever else they are calling themselves this week. 

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  9. InformationisKing

    Do these proposed regulations impact agencies that sell in the UK, or agents that sell overseas too ? Welcome anything that allows regulation for the better of clients and the industry as a whole, as long as its not creating another ‘industry’ for its sake.

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  10. ChumpExecutive

    The Government should control the testing and licensing regime, its not consistent with the purpose of trade bodies such as NAEA/ARLA whose aim should be member protection and promotion. It will mean that everyone has to go through the same process to demonstrate that they have the relevant current knowledge. In Wales, Training for Professionals ran the training and licensing system for landlords and agents, let’s hope its tendering for the England contract.

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  11. jeremy1960

    Whilst I agree in principle,  before government set off on yet another round of incompetent legislation and rules surely those MPs that govern should become qualified and licensed in their field? At the moment an mp can be minister of zebras one week and then  promoted to minister of streetlights before being promoted to minister of housing within a month because the last chap is now minister of duck ponds or some other useless department.

    What qualifies these idiots in  parliament to govern when they know bu***r all about what they are in control of?

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  12. ArthurHouse02

    It wont create a “better industry”. If the AML stuff is anything to go by, this test or qualification will be the bear minimum and everyone who wants to take it will pass. Good quality companies are and will be closing through the endless need for more red tape and regulations.

    The government have had the ability to regulate our industry for years, but have not had the inclination to do so. Agents reported for constant breaches of the property misdescriptions act were never punished. Agents that didnt have or display EPCs were never punished, agents that did not display their lettings fees were never punished.

    All this is, is another way for government to rinse our industry under the guise of betterment. Give trading standards the powers, money and man power and they will deal with the wrong doers, more red tape and the pointless of yet another membership fee required just causes good, hard working, experienced estate agents to wonder why they should bother.

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    1. htsnom79

      I don’t disagree with any of this.

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  13. Essjaydee51

    Hmm I wonder if the teacher/trainer has the accepted qualifications to teach us what we already know?

    As for plumbers and electricians, you wouldn’t bring in a jack of all trades but then we aren’t idiots however I’m sure you use handymen at some stage, are they qualified in their field?

    silly comparison

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    1. htsnom79

      And I agree with the sentiment of this, though the phrasing made my eyes bleed 😉

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  14. Thinker89

    If agents are individually licensed what will that mean for Professional Indemnity insurance premiums and excesses?

    Training will be delivered by who, assessed by who and accredited by who?

    I agree with ChumpExecutive that NAEA/ARLA need to be a trade body, not a provider of training to gain a license.

    One thing already out there that could be included is a DBS check.

     

     

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  15. Thomas Flowers

    Meanwhile, PB’s local property experts charge up to 50% of their users for not achieving a move, through their efforts, thereby, causing many of their clients to pay two estate agency fees.

    But, but, but…… they are now qualified to do so!

    Do you really need a qualification if no sale/let, no fee was made mandatory?

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    1. mossy

      Although I have 18 years experience I have no lettings qualifications. Please tell me what qualifications I need to take? Thanks in advance.

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  16. dale.jamesctf@gmail.com

    we have had this in wales for 4 years with rent smart wales. landlords and agents must complete training to get their licence. it has forced bad agents out already. nothing to worry about…..

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  17. PossessionFriendUK39

    If the Property Redress scheme had any effectiveness,  none of this would be needed.
    Govt need to look at the past and creating things like Property redress that were never enforced by Local Authorities.

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  18. tigerfish.jump

    What a complete and utter, pathetic waste of time and money. Worthless qualifications that mean virtually nothing, while far more important issues in the UK property market go largely unattended. Forget this load of old tosh and concentrate efforts and resources on the really serious criminal activities of money laundering, modern day slavery, proceeds of crime and unexplained origins of wealth that are, shamefully, extremely rarely reported by estate agents and yet cause massive distress and suffering to countless people both here in our own country and in many other countries.

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