Estate agents old and new to have at least one A level under Labour

Shadow minister says his party would require minimum standards for all agents and business owners to 'drive out cowboys'.

matthew pennycook ropa labour

Labour wants all estate agents to have at least one A level and for all agency owners to have completed a degree-level qualifications, it has been revealed.

The new regulations have been added as an amendment to the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill currently making its way through Parliament.

And although this amendment is unlikely to become law, it indicates very strongly the way that Labour would regulate the estate agency sector once it is in power – which seems very likely given its current lead in the polls over the Tories.

More controversially Propertymark’s policy chief, Timothy Douglas, told The Telegraph that the rules would ‘apply retroactively’.

New requirements

He says this would mean all current agents could be forced to return to education if they do not already have the minimum level of qualifications and would likely be given a grace period in which to comply with the new entry requirements.

These requirements may sound familiar to agents who followed the rise of then disappearance of Lord Best’s Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) which caused an uproar in 2019 when it was first published in Parliament.

In October last year Shadow Housing Minister Matthew Pennycook (main picture), who has lodged the latest amendments in Parliament mentioned above, told the Labour conference that he intended to implement RoPA once Labour won power. This would include a statutory code of practice, a fit and proper person test and membership of a professional body should be mandatory.


One Comment

  1. Given that possibly our new Labour Chancellor of the exchequer uses Wiki to fill the gaps in her knowledge, not sure that Labour should be trying to flog the dead horse that is RoPA, Rachel Reeves ‘A new book by Rachel Reeves, shadow chancellor, has been found to contain examples of apparent plagiarism, including entire sentences and paragraphs lifted from other sources without acknowledgment.

    The book, The Women Who Made Modern Economics, included reproduced material from online blogs, Wikipedia, The Guardian and a report foreword by Labour MP Hilary Benn without acknowledging the sources.’ Worst still when she was caught out she was still proud of the book.

    Going back to RoPA or regulation of agents, when getting on for a decade ago this bright idea was dreamt up Gen Ai was in the foothills, now the ‘knowledge’ is available for all – and can be digitally diseminated, bad agency like bad conveyancing or bad lending is usually caused by ‘bad’ actors who have criminal intent.

    Much like the landlord/tenant Punch & Judy show, both need each other and interplay in the same ecosystem, but political postering suggests landlord is money grabbing rich, and tenant the poor disenfranchised, well looking at London rents Labour may need to understand tenants can be extremely rich, and landlords in low income are are much less so.

    1. Given that possibly our new Labour Chancellor of the exchequer uses Wiki to fill the gaps in her knowledge, not sure that Labour should be trying to flog the dead horse that is RoPA, Rachel Reeves ‘A new book by Rachel Reeves, shadow chancellor, has been found to contain examples of apparent plagiarism, including entire sentences and paragraphs lifted from other sources without acknowledgment.

      The book, The Women Who Made Modern Economics, included reproduced material from online blogs, Wikipedia, The Guardian and a report foreword by Labour MP Hilary Benn without acknowledging the sources.’ Worst still when she was caught out she was still proud of the book.

      Going back to RoPA or regulation of agents, when getting on for a decade ago this bright idea was dreamt up Gen Ai was in the foothills, now the ‘knowledge’ is available for all – and can be digitally diseminated, bad agency like bad conveyancing or bad lending is usually caused by ‘bad’ actors who have criminal intent.

      Much like the landlord/tenant Punch & Judy show, both need each other and interplay in the same ecosystem, but political postering suggests landlord is money grabbing rich, and tenant the poor disenfranchised, well looking at London rents Labour may need to understand tenants can be extremely rich, and landlords in low income are are much less so.

  2. Yet another ridiculous attitude towards having a bit of paper to say you are able to sit an exam! I worked in the city for many years until my early 40’s working up to DIrector level in a well known swiss bank and have been working in sales and lettings locally since – starting at the bottom and working up to running my own co. No A-levels – went to work. WHen graduates were brought in every year to the bank at higher wages than those who were now going to train them – then they get pick of which area they want to work in! Not one of them had any common sense or knowledge of working – was absurd then and remains so now – Tony Blair ruined the education system along with everything else he touched and this government has continued to do so. Give me experience, common sense and being able to deal with people over a qualification anyday!

  3. Dont be so negative, the guy’s been to Oxford Uni he has a brain the size of a planet, I am sure when we all have an A level the rental market will respond accordingly and be awash with affordable property. It will all become a lot clearer once you get your A level

  4. I think they should be more worried about the education levels of the 650 clueless people sitting in Westminster. So people who have run successful businesses for 20 years will need an A level – bonkers – what about people in other sectors of of industry why do they always pick on the housing sector. I am looking for good attitude and people who actually have some common sense rather than an A level in an unrelated subject.

  5. I don’t believe that all members of parliament have degrees and they are running the country, surely that should be a priority before imposing such regulations on other industries. Will time spent in the industry count for nothing and will members of propertymark be exempt? Doesn’t sound very ‘thought through’!

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