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Lord Best reveals more details on reform of ‘wild west’ estate agency sector

The peer spoke at a busy and wide-ranging leasehold reform update meeting at the House of Parliament last night.

Nigel Lewis

estate agency

Lord Best has revealed more details on how tightly he expects estate agents to be regulated when his working group reports next summer and has also described the current situation as the ‘wild west’

Tasked by the government with establishing a structure for the formal regulation of sales and lettings agents and property managers, Lord Best yesterday updated the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Commonhold Reform (pictured, above) on his progress.

He said his Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) group was working on four key areas including a single mandatory certificate for all agents and an end to the patchwork of different qualifications that currently exist in the UK.

The second area of his group’s estate agency is to establish a single Code of Practice for everyone working in the industry that gathers all the current codes into one tool.

This would then be policed by a single regulator covering all areas of the industry that “would have teeth” and that the current ombudsman set-up would continue to handle complaints. But a proactive body to prevent poor business behaviours is needed too, he said.

Estate agency reform

Lord Best also revealed that he is to bring managing agents into the scope of his reforms to prevent abuse of leaseholders, one reason why he appeared at the All-Party Parliamentary Group.

And during comments made during a later debate on shared ownership, Lord Best said it was time to review the policy in light of a leasehold and commonhold review.

“It is unfair that owners of shared ownership homes often only own 25% of their property but pay 100% of the costs,” he said.

“Shared ownership has a place but it does have downsides and this all needs reviewing now that’s been running so many years.”

December 6, 2018

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