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Letting and managing agents in England face tougher regulation

Letting and managing agents in England face the prospect of having to abide by a new regulatory framework, in accordance with the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group featured in a new report released by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

The report comes as part of work to raise professional standards in the industry and includes the recommendation that all agents hold a minimum Level 3 Qualification to meet the standards of regulation.

Estate agents across the UK will also have to abide by higher professional standards due to the proposals made by the working group, which was set up by the housing minister, Heather Wheeler, in October last year


The idea behind the new regulatory framework is to create a platform that gives consumers confidence in the agent they are dealing, helping to stamp out bad practice and raise professional standards.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association and member of the working group, said: “Landlords are as much consumers of property agents’ services as tenants, so we’re pleased to have represented their views in the Working Group, and to have made an effective contribution to this report, which represents a broad consensus across all parties involved in the sector.

“We hope that the proposals outlined in the report will drive forward the professionalisation of the private rented sector, making it a better place for those who live and work in it. We were particularly pleased that the report went beyond simply looking at activities and placed a new emphasis on the importance of ethics and behaviour.

“But the new regulator will be toothless if the government continues to fail to provide the resources to enforce existing legislation, let alone any new requirements. Our research shows that local authorities are currently failing to enforce against rogue letting agents, with more than half not prosecuting a single letting agent in the four-year period from 2014/15 to 2017/18.

“This report provides a clear and effective structure for the future regulation the property sector and it makes sense to focus on the professional agency sector first. However, the onus is now on the Government to implement these proposals, and ensure the regulator is fully functional before rolling it out to cover self-managing private landlords.”

The key proposals made last year by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government were:

+ Scope of new regulations

+ Details of a new regulator to uphold them

+ Licensing proposals for all agents

+ Codes of practice to adhere to

+ Qualification requirements to operate in the sector

+ Proposals on leasehold and freehold charges

+ Assurances and enforcements

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “Any form of regulation is a step in the right direction and a step that the industry has been needing for a long, long time. Really, we would like to see this regulation stretch to all of those operating in the sector, whether they be a letting or estate agent, a property listing portal or a short-term letting site.

“To date, a lack of licensing, a code of practice to adhere to, and the requirement of qualifications to actually operate as a property professional have resulted in a number of below-par agents dragging the good name of the industry down with them.

“This clear show of intent from the government should help sort the wheat from the chaff, raising the operating standards of the industry and the service provided to tenants and home buyers and sellers across the nation.

“Hopefully, it equates to more than just hot air and the assurances and enforcement measures mentioned in today’s statement will be upheld to the letter.”

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    This Article 19th July 2019 professionalisation by Working Party group as if they knew what work is, was such a load of crap and so much out of touch with the Industry that 3678 people by read it and still waiting for even one reply, my goodness is this how much interest they can generate between them, time they got a job doing something they know about, anymore free loaders for the Regulation Band wagons and they want people to have Qualifications to be as smart as them.


    Qualifications are one thing, being able to do the job is quite another, thanks to Mr Blair this country is awash with hopeless idiots who have the qualifications but little else.

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    A code of practice yes. Qualifications even though I spent 25 years as a lecturer and by the way when I started you did not have to be qualified to teach. I later became qualified to teach and I was appalled by the standard of teacher training. It did very little to improve my teaching just a hurdle to jump. T. Harvey Eker who, unfortunately I only attended his courses after I left full-time lecturing taught me far more on how to teach than two years of teacher training. I was one of the first to train financial advisors and questioned a lot of what was being taught. After regulation all the big scandals in the financial services occurred so what was the point of regulation? There is no evidence to show that qualifications will improve the standard of the Property industry. It is what you would consider to be a reasonable assumption but there is no science behind it. As they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions . It is just another way to create pointless jobs training and regulating people which I am yet to be convinced need training or regulating. My tenants regulate me, if I provide a bad service they leave and poor properties they will not take. I have been in property for 30 years and I can only name one thing that has been introduced which has done anything to save lives or of any use, the rest: Licencing, Article 4, gas certificates, electrical condition installation reports, PAT testing, CO detectors, RRO, Civil Penalties, EPC's fire safety in HMOs, all on a cost risk basis have achieved nothing except created pointless jobs so pushing up the cost of housing and over complicated an important service.

    On the bright side for those who can stick with the business all these pointless things do nothing except make it very difficult for new competitors to enter into the business.

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO daddy

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    Wet said Jim, I might add Deposits Registration debacle creating more cost and no use to the LL or his property who is what a Deposit was for, now it for protection the Deposit itself and nothing protecting y property basically. How could I forget the so called Model Tenancy Agreement 67 pages on its own gone up from 48 is there any end to the crap.
    The How to Rent guide by Shelter None of their business they are not elected representative, as if people didn’t know How to Rent, first issued 10-6-14 then 11-6-14, 25-9-14, 1-10-15, 1-2-16, 17-1-18, 26-1-18, 9-7-18 (add tenant fee), 31-5-19, 1-6-19, 10-12-20, I now done one July’21 can those morons not get anything right first time or how many goes do they want at it, and what gives them the right to interfere in my business.
    Yours furious

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    So for obvious typos I can’t be proof reading with this 3” phone.

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    Any advance I haven’t forgotten Sarah Teathers failed Private Members Bill, followed by the DeRegulation Act 2015 or the removal of our 10% Wear & Tear allowance, more to come Tax Digital that we haven’t a hope of doing and maybe several times a year because they think all our time is free and Doing nothing else but sit they looking at screens dealing with red tape, honestly how many hands on LL’s out there understands their tax forms and now hey presto by magic we can do it on line several times a year, the reality is more costs more Accountancy Fees but the keep telling us its a deductible tax allowance which is a fat lot of good when the money is already gone.

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    Some of the best property people never seen the inside of a University, now they are spending £30k a year on further education, as for Benham Reeves its easy to sort out the Wheat from the Chaff the chaff will be in suits with a Screen in front of them. I was finished school at 15 had built my house before I got married and carried her over the threshold with no mortgage to pay now they can’t even save the Deposit never buy a house even with all the Government schemes at tax payers expense and the Bank of Mom & Dad so I don’t know what all the Qualifications are about it must be to qualify stupid, copy their mentors and ruin every business.


    Me too Michael, I paid £5k cash for my first house and renovated it, my self and my wife started married life mortgage free, 6 weeks after we got married I bought another at auction with a bridging loan and lived in a caravan in the back garden, 8 yrs later with 2 very young children we done the same again building our present home, can you see the snowflakes doing that ? the '' I'm entitled generation''.

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    I agree Michael we both probably both have forgotten something else it just goes to show how much points regulations have been heaped upon us

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO daddy

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    Agree indeed I didn’t bother to mention the obvious depletion of Section 21 making it almost useless or Section 24, its anything really to damage us.


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