Letting agents to be put under greater scrutiny

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Posted in:Property and Construction, Real Estate|February 25, 2013 | Join the mailing list

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has released a research report entitled "Better regulation of sales and letting agents: An impact assessment of costs and benefits", in which it has called for greater regulation of letting agencies.

Within this report, the RICS sets out several proposals designed to achieve the following outcomes:

1. Consolidated and reduced legislation/regulation;
2. A simpler and user-friendly regulatory framework for both businesses and consumers;
3. Enhanced consumer protection; and
4. Reduced costs of compliance with the new framework.

Their proposal seeks to require letting agents to comply with certain requirements of the Estate Agents Act 1979, the Consumer Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, as well as requiring "minimum professional
competence" as a pre-requisite to operate as an estate agent.

In section 8 of the report, the RICS report made this statement within its conclusion:

"By imposing a regulatory framework that rationalises the situation of sales and lettings agents it is argued that the knowledge and power imbalances between tenants, landlords and agents will be addressed. In turn this will lead to improved
performance on the part of agents and consequential efficiency gains. Moreover, the requirement to put in place redress mechanisms will discourage malpractice and promote the upgrade of poor housing."

This review follows on from a recent press release from the Office of Fair Trading which called for transparency over agency fees, increased consumer protection and industry-led accreditation and quality initiatives.

The RICS report is available online below:


To discuss how we can provide further advice in connection with these issues, please contact Ian Barker, Head of Real Estate, by email to
ianb@berg.co.uk or alternatively you can contact Reception on 0161 833 9211 and ask to speak to a member of the Real Estate team.

The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No responsibility for article’s accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any of its partners or employees.
Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of the contents of this article.

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