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Government Told to Introduce Mandatory Qualifications for Agents

Lord Best, chair of the working group on the Regulation of Property Agents (ROPA) announced yesterday that the group is set to deliver a report recommending the introduction of minimum qualifications for property agents. The report, which is due to be delivered on Monday, will further recommend the requirement that agents obtain licenses to operate as well as the introduction of a regulator. Agents will also be required to follow a published code of conduct and will have to undergo continuous professional development.

Lord Best further indicated that there will be no “grandfathering in”, meaning that the rules will apply no matter how long an agent has been trading nor how much prior experience they have had. Lord Best admitted that the change would mean that some agents would go out of business.

Our view

We welcome plans to further professionalise the sector. The shocking truth about the industry today is that anybody, no matter their previous knowledge or skillset, can open a property agency and become responsible for assets worth hundreds of thousands of pounds (or more). For us, the proposed regulations would just mean “business as usual”. Our staff already hold industry standard qualifications, already adhere to a recognised code of conduct, already belong to trade bodies and already undergo continuous professional development. It is likely that our standards currently exceed whatever the regulations will bring in.