Latest News

An interesting year for the housing market – 2019 trends

04 December 2019

Propertymark has analysed its sales and lettings data to reveal trends from the year. Supply has dropped considerably over the past decade while demand has increased, but year-on-year has remained relatively stable in the face of Brexit uncertainty. Read More...

The Cloud

04 December 2019

You will often hear technology companies refer to ‘the cloud’, whether it be cloud computing, cloud storage or even cloud software, but what does the cloud really mean? Ross Jezzard ARLA Propertymark Board Member, takes a look. Read More...

Major GDPR fine sends warning to property professionals

03 December 2019

UK agents should take stock of their data collection and retention procedures, following the news that a Berlin property company has been fined more than €14.5m (£12.4m) due to a GDPR breach. Read More...

Detectorists stole a £3m Viking hoard

22 November 2019

George Powell and Layton Davies dug up about 300 coins in a field in Eye, near Leominster, Herefordshire, in 2015 and did not declare the 1,100-year-old find, said to be one of the biggest to date, and instead sold it to dealers. Read More...

£57,938 raised by Propertymark in aid of homelessness charity

22 November 2019

More than 100 Propertymark agents and supporters took part in a charity sleep out for Centrepoint, a charity helping homeless young people in the UK. Read More...

Consultation and call for evidence on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies

07 November 2019

The Queen’s Speech on 14 October 2019 set out the Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) commitment to the protection and improving the environment for future generations, which included bringing forward proposals to ban imports from trophy hunting. Read More...

Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (R0PA) report to Government

Thursday 18 July 2019

Today, Thursday 18 July 2019, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) released a report on the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (RoPA) proposing a new regulatory framework to cover estate agents across the UK and letting and managing agents in England only.

The report comes as part of work to raise professional standards in the industry and includes the recommendation that all agents hold a minimum Level 3 Qualification to meet the standards of regulation.

Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler MP, set up the working group in October 2018 and appointed Lord Richard Best as Chair. ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark have been part of the small group of industry stakeholders which has examined several key industry issues including regulation and qualification. We have campaigned for higher professional standards in the industry for many years. It is vital that consumers have confidence in the agent that is providing them with information and dealing with each stage of their transaction. 

Recommendations in the report

  • Propertymark has long called for Government intervention 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 to stamp out bad practice and raise professional standards.
  • The working group has proposed a new regulatory framework to cover estate agents in the UK and letting and managing agents in England only.
  • The working group has recommended in their report:
  • All agencies operating a residential property business should be licensed and licensing should include a fit and proper person test
  • All customer facing staff employed within residential agency business should be licensed and adhere to a Code of Practice
  • All customer facing staff employed within residential agency business should hold a qualification at Level 3, preferably with directors qualified to Level 4
  • A new regulator be appointed to oversee compliance with an overarching Code of Practice

RoPA REPORT

Firms and individuals

Only individuals can hold qualifications and the working group recognised that not every employee of an agency is a property agent. It has been recommended that Government create a list of ‘reserved activities’ – activities which can only be performed by a licensed individual at a regulated firm.

It is recommended that every property agency be responsible for ensuring their staff are trained to the appropriate level and clear oversight arrangements are in place for junior staff. The regulator will impose continuing professional development requirements on licensed agents.

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark and David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark comment on the final report from the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) working group:

"This is a significant moment for those in the property industry and a huge leap forward in stamping out bad practice. We have long called for Government intervention to ensure everyone in the industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice and holds at least a Level 3 qualification (A-level). Following the extensive considerations by the working group, it is now for Government to create the structures for a properly regulated industry, whose professional knowledge and skills are trusted and respected by all.

These are substantial changes which will require agents to start making preparations now to ensure that they are well placed for when these proposed qualification requirements are introduced. While we anticipate 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. Propertymark can support you and your organisation both with getting qualified and preparing for regulation."

Start to prepare

There are substantial changes ahead which will require agents to start making preparations to ensure they are well placed for when the proposed qualification and regulatory requirements are introduced.

While we anticipate 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. Propertymark can support you and your organisation both with getting qualified and preparing for regulation.

The road to regulation

The Government's announcement is good news for raising professional standards in the industry. The focus of is to get all practising agents on the path to qualification and comply with the regulations. Register to have regular updates on the recommendations in an easy to understand framework.

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