New Housing Working Group Announced

As the Government consider ways of excavating the country out of the impending housing crisis, they have announced that a new working group has been created to help raise standards across the property sector.

Heather Wheeler, MP and Housing Minister, has announced that the Regulating Property Agents Working Group will advise the Government on issues pertaining to and new approaches to lettings and estate agents.

Overall, the group’s main focus will be ensuring that all stakeholders including: homebuyers, sellers, tenants, landlords and leaseholders feel as though they are being represented, listened to, charged fairly and are being given the professional service they deserve.

It will be the job of the group to advise on: an independent property-agent regulator model; a single code of practice for letting and managing agents; creating a system of minimum entry requirements for those looking to work in lettings and CPD requirements for existing professionals; looking at ways to present a standard and transparent pricing charged to leaseholders and freeholders; a statutory backed service process to help consumers challenge unfair services and a way of capping additional fees charged to leaseholders and freeholders.

David Pilling, head of lobbying and policy at Ombudsman Services, said: “Consumers should have confidence when buying, selling or renting a home.

“We are pleased that this group has been set up and it’s great to be actively involved in it. We are keen to share our considerable knowledge and experience of handling complaints in the property agent sector with other members of the group.

“We also think it’s important to share our knowledge of good practice in how other sectors operate in terms of standards, regulation, redress, consumer advocacy and enforcement.

“It is vital that consumers are put at the heart of thinking and design of regulation in the housing sector.”

As the Government enjoy the news that construction has increased in 2018, the added benefits from this new housing group should begin to improve regulations and the building and buying process for all major stakeholders.

Do you think a new working group will improve the housing market? Or, will this be another way for the Government to confuse and contradict its policies?

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