This group, chaired by Lord Best, has produced its recommendations for the way forward for the regulation of property agents. One of our concerns is trying to lump all "property agents" into a single scheme. Several of the comments in discussions were not appropriate for some areas of the market.
They have made a number of recommendations, still to be formally agreed by Government. Essentially they will introduce an agent licensing scheme with a requirement that the staff within an agency are also trained, qualified to at least level 3 and licensed. A list of regulated activities is planned and if any of these activities are undertaken by a member of staff they will need to be regulated. By having individual members of staff licensed it will make it easy for them to work in more than one agency or to change jobs.
They propose a regulator to oversee compliance. The details of this will be important as there is a danger of yet another regulator or body. With redress schemes, local councils, local Trading Standards, The National Trading Standards team in Bristol, deposits schemes, trade bodies and now another regulator, the chances of a tenant being able to know to whom they should complain is limited. As an alternative, but this is probably dreaming, why not merge many of these bodies into one single regulator and start a scheme of joined up thinking in the market.
All pigs fuelled and ready to fly!