RoPA’s back! Lords launches probe into estate agent regulation

Members will examine whether there should be a new regulator of property agents and hear about the key challenges dealing with letting agents.

ropa lords

The House of Lords is to begin a probe into the regulation of property agents starting tomorrow which will hear from a range of experts including initially representatives of tenants and leaseholders – following on from Lord Best’s 2019 RoPA report.

The Industry and Regulators Committee enquiry chaired by Baroness Taylor is expected to run for about three to five evidence sessions and 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 will examine the current approach to regulation of property agents in the residential sector and whether there should be a new regulator of property agents.

Baroness Taylor of Bolton ropa
Baroness Taylor of Bolton

Giving evidence on behalf of tenants will be Conor O’Shea, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Generation Rent while later in the morning Sebastian O’Kelly, Chief Executive of Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, will be giving evidence on behalf of leasholders.

The Viscount Trenchard
The Viscount Trenchard

The pair can expect a grilling from Baroness Taylor and committee members such as Viscount Trenchard and Lord Clement Jones with both O’Shea and O’Kelly likely to be asked about the key challenges facing tenants when dealing with letting agents.

The inquiry is also expected to probe how difficult it is for tenants and leaseholders to complain about property agents and whether a regulator of property agents would be able to deal with the challenges tenants and leaseholders face with property agents.

RoPA again

O’Shea and O’Kelly are also expected to be pressed on whether or not they would support a code of practice that agents would have to sign up to as a condition of their license to practice.

Agents who think this all sounds familiar may remember Lord Best’s Working Group on the Regulation of Property Agents or RoPA report published five years ago which covered much the same ground as this one. But with the current Government promising action, and Labour confirming they would bring in legislation, the time is ripe for another enquiry.

First session
Lord Clement Jones
Lord Clement Jones

The first  session will run from 10.30am tomorrow (Tuesday 27 February) and can be followed live on Parliament TV or in person in Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster.

The Industry and Regulators Committee considers matters relating to industry and other members include Lord Altrincham, Lord Best, Lord Gilbert of Panteg, Viscount Thurso, Lord Agnew of Oulton, Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top, Viscount Chandos, Lord Cromwell and Baroness O’Grady of Upper Holloway.

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