New research released today from Propertymark reveals that more than half Brits (54%) who rented, bought or sold a home in the last five years had issues with their estate or letting agent. The data also found that the majority of home movers didn’t check if their agent was regulated or part of a professional body before signing the contract.
More than 1million homes were bought or sold in England and Wales in 2016, with the majority having involved an agent. The analysis found, however:
- 37% of buyers and sellers, and 42% of renters didn’t consider whether their agent was part of a professional body such as Propertymark before progressing with their transaction;
- 14% of renters wrongly assumed all agents were regulated;
- 57% of people who had issues with their property hadn’t checked if their agent or landlord was part of a professional body, with 38% waiting a long time for any issues with the property to be fixed, 20% struggling to get old items replaced, and 12% not being given a reason why they wouldn’t be getting their full deposits back.
Commenting on the research, Mark Hayward and David Cox of Propertymark said: “Choosing a property, whether it’s to buy or rent, is a huge financial commitment and can be overwhelming, especially for first timers. We almost always go with the agent attached to a property if we’re buying or renting, but it’s important to at least ask the question.
“The number of buyers, sellers and renters checking to see if their agent is regulated has improved … but it’s still worrying that so many people assume all agents are members of a professional body, and aren’t considering this when choosing an agent.
“It’s really important consumers look for the ‘Propertymark Protected’ logo when choosing an agent; it means they’re dealing with a professional who has opted for regulation in an unregulated sector and it will give them peace of mind that their money is protected.”