RoPA's proposed new regulatory framework is focused on estate agents in the UK and letting and managing agents in England. The private rented sector is a devolved issue meaning the Welsh and Scottish Governments have already introduced legislation to regulate letting agents.
RoPA's report recommends that:
- All agencies operating a residential property business should be licensed and licensing should include a fit and proper person test for company directors
- All staff delivering ‘reserved activities’ employed within residential agency business should be licensed and adhere to a Code of Practice
- All staff delivering ‘reserved activities’ employed within residential agency business should hold a qualification at Level 3 or above
- All company directors and management agents should hold a qualification at Level 4 or above
- A new regulator be appointed to oversee compliance with an overarching Code of Practice
The Devolved Government has been restored after 24 months of no activity. Whilst the Civil Service moved ahead with some actions, there are issues for the housing sector which have been on hold. Ministers must now act to make key improvements to address supply, implement the rest of the Private Tenancies Act, and rule out rent controls to protect the private rented sector.