Publication of the draft Code is welcomed, but Propertymark highlights, in our response, a number of ways in which the legibility of the Code and its link to the Overarching Code could be improved. In addition, we propose three areas in which the Code could be extended for the benefit of both agents and consumers.
The Code seeks to provide guidance for block managing agents and builds on the principles of the Overarching Code of Practice for Residential Property Agents, which applies to the industry as a whole.
Client Money Protection (CMP)
Firstly, we recommend that the Code is amended to better set out the obligations of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended) to provide a written summary of an insurance policy. Secondly, we suggest that the Code recognises the requirement for agencies undertaking property management in England to belong to a Government-approved Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme if they hold or handle client money.
Finally, our response proposes that the Code include principles relating to dealing with matters such as assignments and alterations. The Code could also be extended to include standards on dealing with any breach of covenant or non-compliance with a Lease, enfranchisement and Lease Variation. Inclusion of such guidance would ensure consistency across the sector and provide consumers with clarity on how issues will be dealt with, as well as the level of service they should receive.