CLC expresses concern over impact of referral fee ban

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers has commented on the launch of a survey which aims to assess the use of referral fees by estate agents.

Released by the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT) and with the support of both the Property Ombudsman and the Property Redress Scheme, the launch of the survey follows the Government response to its Call for Evidence, which highlighted a need to improve the transparency around referral fees and how they’re used by agents.

Following the launch of the survey earlier today (19/06/18) the Council for Licensed Conveyancers has expressed its support for actions which could help better inform the consumer decision making process, encouraging agents to respond positively to the agenda. It also expressed its concerns over a complete ban on referral fees and the impact this could have on the conveyancing market.

It stated:

The CLC is committed to increasing transparency in conveyancing. The firms we regulate are already required to be very clear to clients about any referral fee they receive.

“We support moves to ensure that customers are made aware of any potential referral fee by an estate agent before they make a decision who to instruct as this is the best point to ensure their choice of conveyancer is fully informed.

“We encourage estate agents to respond positively to this agenda and are pleased that they are already working with conveyancers on the wider effort to improve the home buying and selling process. We are concerned that a ban on referral fees would have a significantly destabilising and detrimental impact on the conveyancing market and so believe that we should see how the currently planned changes work before contemplating an outright ban.”

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