The consultation on the future overarching Code of Practice for Residential Property Agents is now open for industry and consumer input.
The consultation is based on the 14 recommendations made by Lord Best in his Regulation of Property Agents report of last year, and will be used by the future Regulator to both authorise and oversee agents.
The objective of the overarching Code of Practice is to set out the principles that underpin the standards of professionalism including conduct and competence that the Regulator and the public expect of residential property agents. This will address both firms and individuals.
The overarching code is proposed to have two sections, ‘Dealing with Consumers’ and ‘Managing Businesses and Staff, and the principles in these will provide a framework for ethical and competent practice. It addresses such issues as encouraging and respecting diversity; treating consumers fairly; agent training and development, conflicts of interests, complaints handling, handling client money and data protection. It also sets standards for transparency of communication and reporting property safety issues.
Sitting underneath this main code and principles, will be sector codes covering specific agent services such a leasehold management, which will be developed later on this year.
It is intended for the overarching Code to apply to all estate agents across the UK; letting and managing agents in England; and all others carrying out residential property agency work, whether traditional high street, online or hybrid, even if it is not their largest or traditional core function.