Following on from the recent government announcements on changes to the buying and selling process and the increased regulation of estate agents, letting agents and managing agents we have sourced comment from industry experts for their views.
To read about the changes visit: www.propertychecklists.co.uk/articles/biggest-property-changes
Leasehold changes recommended
Beth Rudolf, a director at the Conveyancing association says:
“We are delighted that the Government has confirmed that Lease Administrators will be required to provide leasehold information within a set timeframe and for reasonable fees. 94% of respondents to the Call for Evidence, both individuals and organisations, were in total agreement stating they should be required to respond to enquiries within a fixed time period and 87% of individuals (marginally more than the 85% of organisations) said there should be set maximum fees for responding to the information.”
Mark Chick, Director of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) and Partner at Bishop & Sewell adds:
"ALEP supports and welcomes the latest property market proposals set out by the Government. It was very encouraging to hear that steps to improve legal loopholes, fairness and transparency within the leasehold industry formed part of the changes.
"Whilst the leasehold sector has been hitting headlines over the past year for the wrong reasons, ALEP has continued working 'behind the scenes' to help ensure standards within the leasehold sector are upheld and that best practice remains a key priority.
"Indeed, ALEP has been involved in discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government regarding its latest consultation on tackling unfair practices within the leasehold sector, and we are closely monitoring the outcome of the Law Commission's consultation on commonhold.
"Standards across the property sector – particularly for those working within leasehold – need to be raised. We need to work together to ensure that the Government's latest proposals do not fall by the wayside. More education needs to take place for practitioners involved in the complex leasehold sector to ensure best practice continues, and ALEP will support that in any way it can."
Information on government recommending agent qualifications and increased regulation
Theresa Wallace, Head of Savills customer relations said of the changes:
"It is a really positive move and we support the Government’s commitment to improving the consumers experience in the property market and raising standards. These changes could be the greatest steps taken and it is good to see nothing is being rushed through but being thought through thoroughly to ensure any changes are wrapped up together so we end up with a Property market where all parties involved benefit from the changes.
Customers must receive a professional service where the supplier understands and complies with the law and meets the needs of their customers.
Regulation is the answer but it will take a lot of thought and preparation to make sure the model delivered is fit for purpose and can work in practice and enforcement will be one of the key changes required. The future looks promising but the delivery will be in the detail and keeping things as simple as they can be.”
Providing information about a property for sale upfront
Beth Rudolf commented:
“We also welcome the Government’s incremental approach towards upfront provision of information, digitisation and increasing transparency in the process. It is important that in this market we see multiple small positive steps rather than attempting big leaps which could overstretch those required to introduce them.”
Here are my full thoughts on the changes but overall, it’s good to see that both the government and industry seem to be on the same page for once with regards to how to improve the property market and services to consumers.
As Glynnis Frew, Chief Executive at Hunters Estate Agents, says:
"Improving the standards of the industry is in everyone’s interests and many agents have campaigned for many years for regulation. An important part of that is training, we are delighted that the Government sees the importance of training also. Great ideas are only ideas until they become actioned and actioned well – everything, everything is in the execution.”
|Choosing a letting agent - Belvoir||Joining a landlord association - RLA||15 ways to speed up buying and selling legals - SLC|