Government to Regulate Managing Agents
April 5th, 2018
Over the weekend the Government published its response to protecting consumers in the letting and managing agent sectors and to mandatory Client Money Protection Schemes and can be found in the following links:
The bullet points are:
- A single Code of Practice for lettings and managing agents. There will be distinct sections for different areas of practice e.g. lettings vs. managing agents. Professional bodies with more stringent requirements than the single Code will be allowed.
- The establishment of an Independent Regulator that owns the Code of Practice
- Lettings and Managing Agent individuals, including sole traders, will personally need a nationally recognised qualification to practice. It will be the firms responsibility to evidence this to the Regulator
- Agents will be required to undertake Continuing Professional Development
- A Working Group will be set up, reporting early next year, on how to implement the proposals
- The requirement for all agents to be members of an approved professional body will be examined by the Working Group
- Criminal sanctions if required for agents who practice despite being banned
- Empowering leaseholders to switch Managing Agents
- Simplification of the Right To Manage application process
- Client Money Protection (CMP) schemes will need to be approved in order to operate and will be mandatory in the Private Rental Sector.
- CMP will be enforced at County Council level (e.g. Trading Standards) and failure to comply will be a civil offence
ARMA expects to be invited to take part in the proposed Working Group to ensure that the proposals are implemented in a reasonable and proportionate way.