Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP set up the group in October 2018 and appointed Lord Richard Best as Chair.
ROPA was a collection of industry stakeholders, including ARLA Propertymark, examining proposals that agents be regulated by an independent regulator with mandatory qualifications and a Code of Practice.
The key recommendations from RoPA include:
xe2x80xa2 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 All agencies operating a residential property business should be licensed
xe2x80xa2 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 All customer facing staff employed within residential agencies should be licensed and adhere to a Code of Practice
xe2x80xa2 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 Government will create a list of reserved activities and any agents undertaking these would be required to have a qualification at Level 3 or above
xe2x80xa2 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 £0 A regulator will be appointed to oversee compliance
Who will be affected? All residential sales agents across the UK will be affected along with all residential letting agents in England. The group recommend that auctioneers of residential property are also required to comply.
This announcement offers huge potential for professionalisation of the sector and the opportunity to stamp out bad practice. Many industry professionals have long called for overarching regulation to ensure everyone in the industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice and holds relevant qualifications.
What happens next? Following the extensive considerations by the working group, it is now up to Government to create the structures for a properly regulated industry, practised by professionals whose knowledge and skills are trusted and respected by all.