The UK government remains committed to implementing the recommendations in the final report on the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA), almost three years on since Lord Best’s Working Group produced the information.
Housing Minister Eddie Hughes yesterday confirmed that that the proposed reforms are still on the agenda. However, there remains no indication of a timeframe for the introduction of proposed minimum standards and qualifications.
Hughes was responding to a question tabled earlier this month by Dr Matthew Offord MP. He asked the secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) Working Group, published in July 2019, will be implemented.
The Minister confirmed that the UK government remains committed to creating a fair and just housing system that works for everyone. He added, this commitment includes raising professionalism and standards amongst property agents – letting, estate and managing agents – to protect consumers, and defend the reputation of good agents from the actions of rogue operatives.
The response also outlined that the UK Government welcomes the ongoing work being undertaken by the industry itself to raise professionalism and standards across the sector, including on potential codes of practice for property agents, and continue to engage with industry on this.
The RoPA Working Group Report made recommendations on a model for an independent property-agent regulator, a single, mandatory, and legally enforceable Code of Practice for property agents and a system of minimum entry requirements and continuing professional development for property agents.
Commenting, Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “There is political appetite for the UK Government to respond to the RoPA report and implement its recommendations.
“The property sector is going through significant change with legislation impacting leaseholders, economic crime and the purchasing of property from overseas buyers, proposals to reform private renting and new building and fire safety requirements.
“These changes are important but without regulating and driving up standards for sales, lettings and managing agents who will implement these rules and work with consumers often at the start of their home buying and renting journey, the UK Government risk only doing half a job when it comes to levelling up the housing market.”