RICS launches new regulatory regime

Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors will face a simplified set of rules today, under a new “arms-length regime”.

It will regulate every sector of the property industry, from quantity surveying through to valuation and real-estate.

Steven Gould, director of regulation and consumer protection at RICS, says: “The new regulatory regime offers simplicity for business and better protection for consumers, and builds on the government’s own approach to better regulation.

“Unlike many bodies that regulate under law, RICS is under no obligation to modernise its regulatory process, but takes seriously its public interest role as a Royal Chartered public-interest-body, to offer consumer protection and improved industry standards.”

From June 4 every RICS member firm holding client’s money will be subject to an accounts inspection which will take place on average every three years either by RICS accountants or PKF accountants.

The inspections will be more frequent for firms that have problems and less frequent for low-risk firms.

In the past member firms obtained their own accountant’s report. This was not an effective regulatory tool and was actually far more expensive for the firms concerned.

RICS member firms will now display a ‘Regulated by RICS’ stamp, which will appear on everything from company letterheads and corporate material to shop windows.

Gould adds: “Our intention is for ‘Regulated by RICS’ to become an immediately-recognisable stamp of confidence and consumer protection.

“It will give consumers and businesses a simple signpost when looking to employ the services of a property professional.”