In Brief

Crackdown on rogue estate agents launched

Government measures will also attempt to tackle the controversial practice of gazumping

The government has unveiled a raft of measures aimed at improving the housing market, including a crackdown on rogue estate agents.

Under the new rules, announced yesterday in the wake of a public consultation, estate agents in the UK will be required to hold a professional qualification in order to practise.

Agents will also be forced to be transparent about fees for referrals to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers.

However, the government stopped short of a ban on the controversial practice of gazumping, where sellers agree to a sale but then accept a higher offer, the Financial Times says.

“Instead, it said it would encourage the use of voluntary reservation agreements — contracts that would increase commitment between buyers and sellers earlier in the process — in a bid to reduce the rate of failed transactions and the fear of gazumping,” the newspaper adds.

The reforms have been welcomed by the Homeowners Alliance, which supports owners and prospective buyers.

“In an industry tarnished by Wild West attitudes, these reforms will send the cowboys packing,” said chief executive Paula Higgins.

Estate agents have also applauded the move, according to City AM.  “It’s the estate agency version of ‘draining-the-swamp,’” said Peter Wetherell, chief executive of London-based agency Wetherell.

“It is amazing that you now have regulated bouncers for nightclubs, but you can be a window cleaner one day and then an estate agent the next.”

Recommended

Should cyclists have to abide by the same rules as drivers?
Two cyclists commute
Today’s big question

Should cyclists have to abide by the same rules as drivers?

The long road to justice for infected blood scandal victims
Blood bags
Getting to grips with . . .

The long road to justice for infected blood scandal victims

What is Tony Blair up to now?
Tony Blair
In Depth

What is Tony Blair up to now?

Liz Truss says British workers lack ‘skill’ in leaked audio
Liz Truss at a hustings event in Scotland
Speed Reads

Liz Truss says British workers lack ‘skill’ in leaked audio

Popular articles

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses
Getting to grips with . . .

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Inside Adelaide Cottage: Prince William and Kate’s new home ‘away from prying eyes’
William and Kate
In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: Prince William and Kate’s new home ‘away from prying eyes’

The Week Footer Banner