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Fears of Tougher Regulations and Unjust Costs Mount Ahead of Government Announcement

12th July 2019

Estate Agents are waiting for the big reveal on Monday after Lord Best has admitted some firms could close when the regulation of property agents (ROPA) makes its recommendations to the Government early next week.

Lord Best, the chair of ROPA, has already outlined the working group’s desire for more regulation.

 “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.” 

Views conflict, with some agencies saying regulation has been a long time coming. They believe licencing will bring much-needed professionalism to the industry. Others feel it is yet another layer of bureaucracy to deal with.

ROPA’s recommendation to introduce a minimum level of qualification to practice, with no grandfathering, has raised even more concern.

All Staff May Have to Retrain

While some agents welcome this news, hoping to level the playing field and ensure a basic standard for estate agencies, others are horrified.

Those who have put effort and expense in training themselves and their staff fear having to invest in another round of pricy qualifications that could go out of fashion within a few years. Others are concerned the bar could be set too low. They don’t see how, for example, a level 2 qualification would help raise standards.

The Ministry of Housing (MHCLG) has already demonstrated support for ROPA, saying, “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.”

At a time when many Estate Agents already feel the burden of increased regulation, we await Monday’s verdict.

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