Comments in parliament by housing minister Eddie Hughes that the government is still ‘considering the recommendations of the RoPA report’ despite three years having passed since Lord Best’s Working Group’s recommendations were published have prompted Propertymark to once again back its findings.
Its recommendations include a single ‘code of practice’; an overarching regulator; minimum levels of qualifications to work within the sector and compulsory licensing for estate agencies.
Hughes was responding to a written question from MP Matthew Offord, who pressed him to reveal when the RoPA recommendations for agents would be acted on by the government.
Propertymark is hoping that the Minister’s relatively non-committal comments are a sign that RoPA is still alive, even though industry sentiment considers it be ‘kicked into the long grass’.
Hughes’ response outlined how the government ‘welcomes the ongoing work being undertaken by the industry to raise professionalism and standards across the sector, including on potential codes of practice for property agents, and continue to engage with industry on this’.
“There is political appetite for the UK Government to respond to the RoPA report and implement its recommendations,” says Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark (pictured).
“The property sector is going through significant change with legislation impacting leaseholders, economic crime and the purchasing of property from overseas buyers, proposals to reform private renting and new building and fire safety requirements.
“These changes are important but without regulating and driving up standards for sales, lettings and managing agents who will implement these rules and work with consumers often at the start of their home buying and renting journey, the UK Government risk only doing half a job when it comes to levelling up the housing market.”