Preparing to RoPA. How Regulation of Property Agents will affect your business.
In this blog, we will speak about all possible effects of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (RoPA) on the property market. Back in 2018, it has been agreed with Government that a new approach – property agent regulation – was needed. The regulation was to provide the opportunity to prevent bad practices and drive cultural change within the industry, focusing on prevention rather than enforcement after the event.
The government has tasked a special working group to advise on how a new regulatory framework can help raise professional standards. Although it hasn’t been implemented yet, we at Rentancy are encouraging you to learn what is coming and get prepared for it. Max Burney, our sales director having met Sally Lawson, the former ARLA president, at the Agent Rainmaker event, learned about how needed this was especially in this current climate given only 26% of people trust estate agents today. In a recent quote, Sally said – The Negotiator:
I speak to dozens of agents on a daily basis and they’re all eager to see the regulations become law, as they recognise the benefits in terms of industry reputation.
Read more to find out more about RoPA and how it will affect your business in 2023 and beyond.
What is RoPA?
RoPA is the Regulation of Property Agents. Government has proposed that property agents be regulated by a new and an independent regulator, with mandatory qualifications and a code of practice.
RoPA’s report recommendations:
|Regulator||Qualifications||Code of Practice|
|A new regulator be appointed to oversee compliance with an overarching Code of Practice.||All staff delivering ‘reserved activities’ employed within residential agency business should hold a qualification at Level 3 or above.||All staff delivering ‘reserved activities’ employed within residential agency business should be licensed and adhere to a Code of Practice.|
|All company directors and management agents should hold a qualification at Level 4 or above.||All agencies (i.e. letting, estate and managing agents) operating a residential property business should be licensed and licensing should include a fit and proper person test for company directors.|
*Reporting recommendations sourced from Propertymark
What’s the impact on your agency?
Of all the changes that the regulation will bring, the most significant changes will be the mandatory qualifications of employees and mandatory licensing.
Over the coming few years, business owners will have to implement strategies that will allow for increased investment into their teams for the necessary training, qualifications and additional licenses required which in the face of the current economic climate will almost certainly be a challenge.
It’s clear from RoPA that mandatory property qualifications should be applied to licensed agents carrying out reserved activities as indicated above and with a set syllabus by an independent regulator. This would include broad content and learning outcomes and would serve to ensure accountability and quality controls across the industry.
Note: until the syllabus is set, no qualification can be marketed as fully compliant.
Why RoPA recommends licensing?
Licensing would facilitate a structure of regulation, including adherence to a code of practice, a fit and proper person test for directors and a register of agency licenses available to consumers. In turn, this would drive up the standards of service provided to consumers.
It is clear that the new regulation will bring much structure and organisation into the property market, however, there are several factors that need to be considered in advance such as enforcement and timeframes for implementation.
If your agency employees are not yet fully qualified and you are considering outsourcing the services, we are happy to inform that all our property managers are fully qualified and looking forward to assisting you with the property management and client accounting tasks. Please feel free to contact Max Burney on 0330 321 3500 to learn how Rentancy can be a cost-effective alternative to integrate experts into your business.