Labour Launches Fresh Bid To Regulate Estate Agents

Labour has reiterated its commitment to introducing tougher new rules for estate, letting, and property managing agents after the shadow housing minister tabled an amendment to the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill to regulate property agents.

Matthew Pennycook proposed the amendment which if approved would result in the enactment of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (RoPA) report within 24 months of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill becoming law.

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was debated at Committee stage on 16 and 18 January 2024 after passing its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 11 December 2023, with calls to regulate estate, lettings and managing agents being debated.

The UK government has stated that a ban on new leasehold houses, the end of marriage value, and a redress scheme for freeholders will be added as the Bill makes its way through parliament.

Additionally, a consultation asking for views on options to halt ground rents for current leaseholders closed earlier this week.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “It is really positive to see an amendment put forward to get the recommendations in Lord Best’s report on the Regulation of Property Agents on the statute book. The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill alongside other proposed housing legislation will bring huge change to the way people buy, sell, rent and live in property.

“However, currently there no minimum standards to work in the property sector and there are no statutory rules to ensure those buying, selling and managing property are suitably qualified. This amendment is an opportunity to provide a greater level of protection for consumers and should be widely supported.”

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