New Regulation for Estate Agents in the United Kingdom

The government in the United Kingdom has announced that new measures will be introduced to professionalise the estate agent market. Estate agents will be required to hold a professional qualification and to be transparent about the fees they receive for referring clients to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers.
Other measures to make the system easier, faster and more transparent include:
  • encouraging the use of voluntary reservation agreements to help prevent sales falling through;
  • setting a timeline for local authority searches so buyers get the information they need within 10 days;
  • requiring managing agents and freeholders to provide up-to-date lease information for a set fee and to an agreed timetable;
  • strengthening the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team so they can carry out more enforcement activity which includes banning agents.

These measures are the outcome of a public consultation on improving the home buying and selling process and making it cheaper, faster and less stressful. There will now be a further consultation with stakeholders on creating a mandatory professional qualification for estate agents. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has long asked for improvements in the regulation of estate agents in the United Kingdom. Welcoming the announcement of the new measures, Mark Hayward, CEO of the NAEA, described them as “very much a big step forward for regulation and minimum standards, something for which we have been campaigning”. More information is available from the website of the NAEA at .