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Understanding The Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) proposals with Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark

NAEA Propertymark has long recognised the need for holding estate agents to account and encouraging high standards throughout the industry. We are, after all, a sector that relies heavily on consumers to sustain us; their satisfaction and protection will always be a top priority.

The Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) Working Group’s report to Government, on the recommendations for future regulation, is exactly what we believe the sector needs. The proposals include:

• A clearly outlined Code of Practice
• Minimum qualifications
• Formal licensing

As the regulatory body has not yet been set, we have no confirmed date for when the regulations might come into force. This also means the finer details, such as the qualifications criteria, could yet change.

For those who haven’t done so, we recommend gaining a relevant qualification as proposed by the working group, which is a Level 3 for agents and a Level 4 for managing agents and company directors. Since these can take around a year of private study to achieve, the sooner you start, the better.

NAEA Propertymark are committed to providing agents with updates and advice on the new regulation when it’s announced, along with top-up modules to bring agents qualifications in-line with the final criteria.

Those already working to a high standard will easily transition into formal regulation, whilst the minority of poor-quality agents must either increase their own standards, or naturally leave the sector.

An industry that prioritises consumers’ interests can only lead to a healthier market, where agents are more trusted with their most valuable asset. By working towards the proposed regulation standards, agents will become ready for the future and more appealing to potential customers.

You can find these insights and more in the 2019/20 edition of the Little Blue Book, available online here.

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