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Working group created as regulation of estate agents in Britain moves closer

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A new working group – which includes representatives from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the National Landlords Association (NLA), Citizens Advice, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the Citizen’s Advice and the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) – has been set up to raise standards across the property agent sector.

The Regulation of Property Agents: Working Group is chaired by Lord Best, an independent crossbencher of the House of Lords since 2001 and has the power to make recommendations to support buyers, sellers, landlords, leaseholders and tenants.

Currently, anyone can operate as a property agent without any qualifications or professional oversight. And while many agents take a professional approach and sign up to standards of practice through membership of a professional body, others do not.

The working group will consider the entire property agent sector to ensure any new framework, including any professional qualifications requirements, a Code of Practice, and a proposed independent regulator, is consistent across letting, managing and estate agents.

Speaking following the announcement Heather Wheeler MP and Housing Minister, said: “For too long, many people have faced incurring fees and bad service from a number of property agents. People should have confidence when buying, selling or renting a home.

“Lord Best’s wealth of knowledge will provide a valuable insight and help us make necessary changes to ensure consumers have confidence when buying, selling, letting or renting their home”.

The group’s initial findings will be reported to the Government by the summer of 2019.