Latest News

Clarity provided for agents in North of England

03 August 2020

On the evening of Thursday 30 July, the UK Government announced a tightening on restrictions for some areas within the North of England in order to protect against the risks to public health arising from Coronavirus. Read More...

Ten new courts unveiled to tackle evictions proceedings backlog

30 July 2020

The Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland announced on 19 July 2020 the locations for ten ‘Nightingale Courts’ which have been rapidly set up with the aim of tackling the impact of Coronavirus on the justice system. Read More...

Demand from tenants and rental supply highest on record for June

30 July 2020

ARLA Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) June report saw the number of new prospective tenants continue to rise, following the Government’s COVID-19 lockdown, with the average branch registering 79 new tenants, compared to 70 on average in May. Read More...

Guidance released for re-opening of housing market in Wales

28 July 2020

Today, 28 July, the Welsh Government has released guidance for the property sector and has updated its amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations in light of the re-opening of the housing market from 27 July. Read More...

Welsh Housing market to re-open fully from Monday 27 July 2020

24 July 2020

Today, 24 July, the Welsh Government confirmed that the housing market will fully reopen on Monday 27 July 2020. Read More...

Government asks the industry to comment on draft code of practice

Monday 20 July 2020

A consultation on an overarching Code of Practice has been launched today, 20 July, which will be key to the work of the new industry regulator, when they are eventually appointed.

The Code, which outlines standards designed to promote trust in the industry, references areas including transparency on Referral Fees, adherence to Client Money Protection Regulations, data management, and consumer complaints.

The Code applies to:

  • Property sales/purchases
  • Property lettings
  • Property management
  • Property auctions
  • Property guardians
  • Rent-to-rent arrangements
  • International property agents

It is designed to sit above a number of sector-specific codes:

  • Residential Property Sales – Estate Agents
  • Residential Property Lets – Letting Agents
  • Residential Leasehold Management - Leasehold Management Agents
  • Commonhold Management - Commonhold Management Agents
  • Retirement Housing Management - Retirement Housing Managers
  • Property Auctions - Auctioneers
  • Property Guardian Services - Property Guardian Companies
  • Residential Property Buying Services – Buying Agents
  • Build to Rent

On the topic of Qualifications, the overarching Code requires that agents:

  • Must be fit and proper persons.
  • Must ensure that all staff have been given proper instructions and training about complying with relevant laws and the requirements of this Code applicable to their role.
  • Must ensure that all staff are trained to deal with consumers and colleagues in a manner that encourages and respects equality, diversity, and inclusion. (See the Equality and Human Rights Commission.)
  • Must ensure that staff are qualified to the levels specified by the Regulator, trained, and hold the appropriate licence (where applicable) to undertake the responsibilities delegated to them.
  • Must maintain documentary evidence showing the training provided to all staff and individuals' ongoing training required to meet the relevant Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

In a further development, Karin Smyth MP for Bristol South, this morning put a question to the Housing Minister about when the Government will bring forward legislative proposals to establish an independent regulator.

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The Government remains committed to raising professionalism and standards amongst property agents and is grateful for the final report of the independent Regulation of Property Agents working group, chaired by Lord Best.

We welcome the recent appointment of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town as the Chair of a new independent steering group on codes of practice for property agents as an important development towards ensuring all customers are treated fairly and all agents work to the same high standards.

Through our collective efforts are currently focussed on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will respond to the report of Lord Best’s working group, setting out next steps, following careful consideration of its 53 recommendations, and we will consider any code produced by Baroness Hayter’s steering group in due course."

Christopher Pincher MP

Propertymark will be responding and is encouraging agents from across the industry to feed their views into this consultation.

The consultation