OUCH! Housing minister accused of dismissing RoPA without explanation

Baroness Taylor of Bolton, who chairs a Lords committee, accuses Lee Rowley of refusing to respond to any of the RoPA recommendations her committee made.

Barones Taylor ropa

A senior Lords committee leader has attacked Housing Minister Lee Rowley for a series of failings in his decision to rule out RoPA reform.

Baroness Taylor of Bolton (main picture), who chairs the Lords’ Industry and Regulators Committee, accused Rowley of dismissing regulation of property agents without proper explanation.

Scathing letter

In a scathing letter to the Minister, Baroness Taylor accuses him of refusing to respond to any of the points her committee raised.

“We were disappointed by the brevity of your response to our letter,” she says.

“This is particularly disappointing given that it was the Department that asked to respond to the Committee in writing,” she adds.

And “it was all the more frustrating to receive it two weeks after the deadline we had set”.

Taken together, we do not believe this is a satisfactory approach to parliamentary scrutiny.”

“Taken together, we do not believe this is a satisfactory approach to Parliamentary scrutiny of Government policy,” she says.

In future, the committee expects a full written response to its recommendations, she insists.

‘Get on with it’

The committee had called for a regulator backed by a licensing scheme for agents, a single ombudsman and mandatory qualifications, and urged Housing Secretary Michael Gove ‘to get on with it’.

And Baroness Taylor accused the Government of “sitting on its hands for four years”.

Not possible

Rowley had written to the committee, but did not answer detailed points, and just said it was not possible to implement RoPA while the Renters (Reform) and Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bills were passing through Parliament.

“I hope we can get to the broader, cross-cutting topic of property agents at a future opportunity,” he said.

RoPA pioneer Lord Best had earlier told The Neg he fears the Government still doesn’t see an industry regulator as a priority.

Read the committee letter here

RoPA has no hope of becoming law as another minister rules it out

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