View more on these topics

Get tougher on estate agents

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is calling for more action to regulate estate agents after the Queen’s Speech last week recommended agents join a redress scheme.

The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill is a step towards increased regulation in the sector and would offer greater protection to consumers.

Under the measures estate agents will be required to keep records and allow inspection of their work.

The bill will also bring together watchdogs the National Consumer Council, Energywatch and Postwatch.

But despite the Queen’s Speech referring to the measures as the “regulation of estate agents”, the industry says more needs to be done.

Steven Gould, director of regulation at RICS, says: “This is a missed opportunity. While we welcome the government’s commitment to introduce independent redress we feel this alone is insufficient.

“All consumers should know that when they walk into an estate agency it is properly regulated. The proposals don’t offer this. Reputable estate agents, professional bodies, trade associations and Which? have been calling for a proper system of regulation for years”

He adds: “Offering independent redress is locking the stable door after the horse has bolted because the customer already has a complaint.”

But Stephen Smith, director of housing at Legal & General, says there is no reason why estate agents aren’t already following guidelines.

He says: “We have a network of franchised estate agents that are already members of the Ombudsman and the National Association of Estate Agents schemes.”

Recommended

GEMHL appointment

GE Money Home Lending has appointed Steve Wright as head of new product development. Wright held a number of marketing roles at GEMHL over four years before taking on this role. Previously, he gained over 15 years’ financial services experience across a variety of sectors working for Abbey, Natwest and Prudential.

Leadbay expands staff numbers

Lead generation provider Leadbay has expanded its team by 20% in the past month and is continuing to appoint customer service staff. Leadbay first launched its leads bidding system in January 2005 with under 10 staff but now has 30 employees. The company says it is expanding its customer service team to ensure that it […]

TMB says applications are up 90%

The Mortgage Business has reported that application submissions are up 90% and completions up 86% on last year. Jon O’Brien from PMPA, says: “There is an honesty and integrity about TMB which makes it very easy to develop our relationship with them. “They knew that eighteen months ago their service proposition wasn’t up to scratch […]

Great service is the key to retaining clients

Brokers must have been spooked by the latest statistics from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. It seems that the level of remortgaging now stands at a five-year low.

Default image

Health Shield announces strong results

Health Shield, a corporate health cash plan provider, has announced that it has increased gross annual premium income to more than £25m in another year of strong organic growth.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up