It has only taken nearly 40 years.
The 1979 Estate agents Act gave powers for a government to impose licencing of agents, despite lobbying over many years by the professional bodies it is only now that this is being given the attention it deserves. Last Sunday this announcement was made.
Government has announced a series of measures which aim to drive up standards and bring an end to rogue estate agents. Housing Secretary Sajid Javid MP has announced that all agents will be required to hold a professional qualification.
The measures, which follow the Government’s consultation process on house buying and selling which closed in December 2017 will also require estate agents to be transparent about the fees they receive for referring clients to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers. The scope of the measures will affect agents operating in England, Scotland and Wales, reflecting the scope of the Estate Agents Act 1979.
Other measures, designed to make the system easier, faster and more transparent include:
Encouraging the use of voluntary reservation agreements to help prevent sales falling through and crack down on gazumping;
Setting a timeline for local authority searches so buyers get the information they need within 10 days;
Requiring managing agents and freeholders to provide up-to-date lease information for a set fee and to an agreed timetable which will end the current situation where leaseholders are at the mercy of freeholders and their agents;
Strengthening the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team so they can carry out more enforcement activity which includes banning agent.
As a company we are regulated by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors , the National Association of Estate Agents, The Association of Rental Agents and The Property Ombudsman. For far too long anyone with no qualifications can set up as an estate agent, at last it will change.