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The Government has this morning announced a new working group, which will report back next summer on regulating all agents right across the sector.

Its brief includes advising on regulation and mandatory minimum qualifications.

In its statement this morning, the Government said: “At the moment, anyone can operate as a property agent without any qualifications or professional oversight. Many take a professional approach and sign up to standards of practice through membership of a professional body, but 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.”

Housing minister Heather Wheeler 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.”

The new Regulating Property Agents Working Group will be chaired by Lord Best, an independent cross bencher. Members will include Propertymark, the RICS, and Citizens Advice.

The group will focus on:

  • a model for an independent property-agent regulator, including how it will operate and how it will enforce compliance
  • a single, mandatory and legally-enforceable Code of Practice for letting and managing agents, and whether similar could be provided for estate agents
  • a system of minimum entry requirements and continuing professional development for letting, managing and estate agents
  • a standardised approach for presenting transparent service charges to leaseholders and freeholders
  • an easier statutory-backed process for consumers to challenge unfair service charges
  • whether other fees and charges which affect both leaseholders and freeholders are justified; should be capped or banned
  • further measures to professionalise estate agency
  • as well as additional matters which in its opinion support the aims above

We are pleased to confirm that WILLIAMS & DONOVAN are a fully regulated estate agency and conform to all current legislation.