Estate agents warn over ‘unintended consequences’ of regulation

Propertymark has made the comments ahead of an appearance at the Industry and Regulators Committee at Parliament.

estate agents

Propertymark will  appear in front of the House of Lords’ Industry and Regulators Committee tomorrow (Tuesday 5 March) at 10.30 am as part of the Committee’s work looking at the regulation of estate agents.

The Industry and Regulators Committee began investigating the sector last week and the inquiry is expected to run for another couple of evidence sessions.


Once the results have been gathered any findings and recommendations will be put in a letter and sent to an as yet to be confirmed minister at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Baroness Taylor of Bolton
Baroness Taylor of Bolton

The Committee, chaired by Baroness Taylor of Bolton, is considering whether there should be a new regulator of property agents, as recommended by the report of the Regulation of Property Agents working group in 2019.

Timothy Douglas (main picture), Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, says: “Propertymark has long campaigned for the regulation of property agents and is pleased that the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee is looking at this important issue.

“There are regulatory models for agents already in existence across parts of the UK so it’s important that we learn the lessons from implementation and how they can help shape future reform and policy making in this area.”


And he adds: “This is particularly important in light of legislative proposals from the UK Government to reform the leasehold system and renting in England with property agents playing a key role in supporting, guiding and providing information to consumers. Propertymark remains committed to ensuring any new legislation is workable for the sector as a whole.

“The Renters Reform Bill offers a huge opportunity to reform the private rented sector in England.

“However, as with all legislation there are unintended consequences.

“The regulation of property agents must be included in the legislation and the court system must have capacity to bolster the confidence of landlords and property agents in an evidence-based possession process following the abolition of Section 21.”

Last week The Neg revealed how the committee heard calls from Generation Rent that letting agents dealing with low-income tenants and those on welfare support should be qualified to help promote understanding and stem the rise in homelessness.

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