Looming industry Code of Practice to tackle ‘dual fees’ problems

Long-standing industry sticking point is one of several issues discussed by TPO-organised industry gathering last week about the code of practice, held on Zoom.

code of conduct

The first indications of what the much anticipated industry-wide Code of Practice will include has emerged during a TPO Forum meeting of industry leaders.

The group met via Zoom late last week to discuss several issues including the code, which when it goes live will dictate how thousands of estate agents and other property industry players do business.

And this will include tackling the ongoing problem caused by dual fees and ‘consumer detriment’ issues caused by the Covid pandemic, The Negotiator has been told.

The gathering included Baroness Hayter, the chair of the official steering group convened to write the code, plus outgoing property ombudsman Katrine Sporle, Gavin O’Leary from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Mark McLaren from TPO and a representative from the National Trading Standards Estate and Lettings Agency Team.

The meeting was run by Mclaren and Belvoir chairman Michael Stoop.

Other issues

Other topics discussed by the group included the leasehold scandal, compliance issues created by virtual viewings and the use of CCTV in HMO properties by landlords.

The other big issues discussed included ‘No DSS’ clauses in rental contracts and the ongoing role of housing charity Shelter in persuading government to ban the practice.

Mark McLaren, said: “The Forums have proved extremely successful in raising and addressing issues which have, or could, cause consumer detriment.

“We work together to eliminate these through guidance, best practice and/or changes to TPO’s Codes of Practice.

“This has never been more important as we support the Steering Group in preparing an overarching, workable set of Codes which will enable consumers to understand the service standard they should expect from agents.”

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