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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Property Ombudsman (TPO) have published a consultation on a new code of practice for residential property agents (Code).
The draft Code follows on from the final report published in July 2019 by the Regulation of Property Agents: working group, which was chaired by Lord Best. The working group was made up of industry and consumer experts, and they examined the options available for raising standards across the property agent sector. One of their recommendations was a single, mandatory and legally enforceable code of practice for property agents.
The draft Code aims to set out the overarching principles that underpin the standards of professionalism that the regulator and the public expect of residential property agents. The draft Code has two sections: “Dealing with consumers” and “Managing businesses and staff”.
The intention is that the Code applies to businesses (whether traditional high street, online or hybrid) within the sectors dealing with sales and purchases, lettings, property management, auctions, property guardians and rent-to-rent arrangements. The Code will also apply to international property agents.
Given that policy relating to letting and managing agents is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Code will only apply to letting and managing agents in England. However, the sales agency has not been similarly devolved. Consequently, the Code will apply to sales agents across the United Kingdom.
Comments are sought on both the content and the clarity of the draft Code by 4 September 2020. Read more here