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10 APR 2018

Professionalising the estate agent market

The government's proposed new measures to professionalise the estate agent market (8 April 2018), and the managing and letting agents market (1 April 2018) announcement, are positive steps and in line with RICS' ethos.

RICS sets and regulates standards for its professionals and regulated firms, but there are many in the sector that fall outside of this regulatory regime. We believe that anyone involved in the buying, selling, renting and managing of our homes should meet minimum professional and ethical standards, and be appropriately regulated.

By introducing obligatory standards, regulation and continuous professional development, we believe consumers will be better protected and existing bad practice driven out.

However, it’s important for the government to recognise the large body of existing work in this area. RICS is already working with stakeholders to produce a joint Private Rental Sector code, and has developed an independent regulatory regime for individuals and organisations. Working with us, government could quickly and economically achieve its aims, rather than duplicating effort.

Throughout the consultation process, and in the lead up to these announcements, RICS has continually called on the government to think about regulation of the residential housing sector holistically. The same agents that are selling properties are often also letting and managing them. Although these announcements are complimentary, the government needs to carefully consider and address how these changes will fit together.

RICS looks forward to working with government to improve professionalism and ensure consumer interests are at the heart of the system.