Industry gets to work on new code of practice ahead of introduction of new agency regulations

A new steering group has been setup to develop an overarching code of conduct for estate and lettings agents.

It is the latest development since Lord Best’s working group last year recommended that the Government introduce regulation, minimum qualifications and a code of conduct for residential property agents across the sector.

The new Code of Practice Steering Group will be chaired by Baroness Dianne Hayter, who previously led a review that backed the introduction of mandatory client money protection in 2017.

The committee will develop an overarching code of conduct for residential property agents following Lord Best’s Regulation of Property Agents Working Group.

As RICS and The Property Ombudsman Service (TPO) publish the two principal existing codes in sales and lettings they will be working together with other members to develop a new, consolidated residential agency and management code.

It will cover all aspects of residential property as well as specific sections on sales, lettings and management.

The code is being prepared so that it can be “handed over” to the new regulator once established.

Members of the group include:

  • Andrew Bulmer  The Institute of Residential Property Management
  • Alison Farrar  Trading Standards
  • Anthony Essien LEASE
  • Cecilia Brodigan  Association Of Retirement Housing Managers (ARMA)
  • Chris Norris NRLA
  • Dallas Banfield  First Tier Tribunal
  • David Cox  ARLA Propertymark
  • Baroness Dianne Hayter
  • Officials MHCLG
  • Isobel Thomson  safeagent
  • Katrine Sporle  TPO
  • Liz Owen
  • Mairead Carroll RICS
  • Mark Hayward  NAEA Propertymark
  • Nigel Glen ARMA
  • Peter Habert  TPO
  • Tim Frome  PRS
  • Steve Harriot  TDS
  • Vivienne Sugar

Baroness Hayter said: “The forthcoming combined code will ensure that consumers are clear what standards they should expect from property professionals, and it will enable them to be confident that all residential property agents will be held to account in meeting them.

“The independent Steering Group is undertaking this work to prepare an over-arching Code of Practice for the new regulator, very much within the public interest.

“With both consumer representatives and cross-sector support and commitment to achieving this goal of a combined code, as proposed in the Regulation of Property Agents Report, it will raise standards and trust in the industry.”

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: “Baroness Hayter’s appointment is an important development for property agents as they further raise standards in their industry and protect their customers.

“I look forward to continuing to work with all to ensure customers are treated fairly and that all agents work to the same high standards.”

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8 Comments

  1. Happy Daze!

    Association of Retirement Housing Managers is not ARMA….!!

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  2. smile please

    We don’t need a new code of practice, we just need the current rules enforced.

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    1. PeeBee

      /\ THAT /\

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  3. JamesDB

    Will poor agents be held to account though??   Surely, if they want to give our industry a better image to clients then they should be looking at mandatory qualifications for us all…

     

    Just a thought, that is all

     

    Happy Wednesday folks

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  4. mark lock

    A kick in the proverbial’s for us agents that already adhere to codes of conduct and CPR, and generally abide by the law! The problems come when there are not enough resources to punish those agents that do not look after their customers and staff and consistently flout the law. I don’t believe having a qualification will not stop poor practice either (although it’s a start)…the industry need some teeth!    

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  5. GPL

     
    …..are there any actual real/live/working Estate Agents on that “Working Party” that can inject some reality/practicality or is it just another “Club” of like-minded folk that like tea/biscuits and agreeing heartily with each other?
     
    My heart sinks when I witness the “usual suspects” being rolled out – those that value their “Committee Badge/Membership” way before speaking clearly & informatively ….from a “boots on the ground” viewpoint.
     
    Baroness, Lord, Sir? ……whatever happened to Mrs, Mr, Ms?
     
    In the meantime, back to the coal face for me! Title me whatever you like…….  
     
           

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  6. Woodentop

    If you already have the working codes and legislation coming out of agents ears ……… why do you need another one!  
     
    This is an admission that the regulators do not police, if there still are problems with rogues and another set of codes will not stop them.  
     
    I put my money on them not coming out with anything new, that is not already covered. If they do, is it an admission their codes have been wrong?
     
    As for licensing …. that is income generating for someone and all the licence holder has to do is what they are required to do under regulations now. That is what this is all about.

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    1. PeeBee

      “I put my money on them not coming out with anything new, that is not already covered.”
       
      The ONLY “new” thing they could cover – or, more correctly, to actually put some decent meat on the flimsy bones already “covered” – is internet portal abuse AND to bring portals into the remit.
       
      And then to actually police the issue.  But of course that’s where any ‘point’ of this chops-wobbling exercise dissolves into the vapour that we all know it is.

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