Principle welcomes Lord Best’s report to transform regulation of property agents

New government proposals for far-reaching changes to the way property agents are regulated, trained and licensed have been welcomed by Principle Estate Management.

The comments follow the publication of a report from the Regulation of Property Agents working party, set up last year by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.

Chaired by Lord Richard Best, the report’s key recommendations, which cover letting agents, sales agents (including auctioneers) and managing agents, include:

  • property agents to be regulated by an independent regulator;
  • a new licensing regime for all agents;
  • codes of practice setting out clear standards of behaviour;
  • mandatory qualifications for staff working in the sector;
  • transparency of leaseholder and freeholder charges
  • assurance and enforcement under the new system; and
  • a single ombudsman for property agents to settle any disputes.

Brett Williams, managing director of Principle, said: “Our company was based on having the highest standards, and so we warmly welcome these recommendations to regulate the whole sector.

“I personally know Lord Best from when he was chair of the property committee of a large charity which was a previous client, and I feel confident in the impressive detail of his proposals.

“I spoke with him at a breakfast briefing a couple of months ago and know how driven he has been to get these recommendations right for the whole industry, and I look forward to seeing them enacted by the government.”

Mr Williams’ comments come as Lord Best’s proposals were praised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Sean Tompkins, chief executive of RICS, said: “Housing is central to the welfare of society, so ensuring consistent minimum standards across the sector for agents is vital to upholding the public interest.

“That’s why the RICS congratulates Lord Best, working group members and the Ministry for these sound recommendations.”

Other industry bodies warmly backing Lord Best’s report include the Institute of Residential Property Management, the Association of Residential Letting Agents and the National Landlords Association.

Mr Williams added: “The fact that every serious organisation in the sector has welcomed these proposals reflects on both how impressive they are and how badly they are needed.

“We now look forward to a wholescale transformation of the industry as a result, and Principle will be determined to be leading the way in how responsible property companies should be operating.”

Principle Estate Management was launched in 2018 by Brett Williams, the former head of residential property management at CPBigwood in Birmingham.

The company is based at Cornwall House in Lionel Street, Birmingham, and offers a national property management service.