The regulations, which were announced at the Council of Licensed Conveyancers conference by Lord Richard Best, chair of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group, will involve mandatory examinations and qualifications being introduced which will not allow so-called ‘grand-fathering‘ – under which older agents would not have to undergo qualification examinations.
He said that though many agents may know everything about the industry, others may be “absolutely hopeless” and could be “completely out of date on legislation and regulation”.
Lord Best added that good and experienced agents should find passing the exam ‘difficult’ – with details of it still being finalised – but if older agents prefer to retire it is “a price to be paid”.
He also reiterated ROPA (Regulation of Property Agents) recommendations that there would be mandatory qualifications and a code of conduct – the latter being tougher than that which exists now through trade organisations like The Property Ombudsman.
Lord Best expects the “new era” of estate agency industry regulation to become law within two years, and that every UK agent will have to be “a licensed agent” and a member of “a regulated body”.
And, according to a report by Estate Agent Today, some older estate agents may even end up retiring when the mandatory examinations and qualifications are introduced – as there will be no ‘free pass’ whatever experience agents have.
Our Managing Director Mark Ross, who co-founded Redbrik seven years ago, has welcomed the news.
Mark said: “This news is hugely positive and progressive, not only for Redbrik as benchmark-setters but for industry standards locally, regionally and nationally.
“At Redbrik, we thrive on challenge and the need to constantly raise our standards. Success breeds success, but you always need to start with high standards. Regulation changes such as these only serve to improve the quality of service offered by agents across the country.
“This merely confirms what we hoped, and our team will have nothing to fear in this ‘new era’ which is set to reward brilliant, competent people. My message to our team is clear: bring it on!”