Regulating the property sector – our opinion.

Posted Thursday, August 8, 2019


Regulating

On 18th July 2019 the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published a report that proposed a new regulatory framework for all managing agents in England.

The report suggests that all staff responsible as Property Managers should be required to hold (or obtain) enough qualifications to deem them suitably skilled for the job and enable the company to be officially licensed. In order to impose these regulations, it has been recommended that Government creates a list of activities that can only be undertaken by such licensed companies. A working group has been set up to steer this - Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA).

Setting a good example

Up until now the property industry has been not regulated in the same way as other sectors such as private security where regulations stipulate that individuals must be qualified in key areas which could include fire evacuation, first aid, and restraint procedures for evidence gathering for example. To enter the profession, these strict guidelines must be adhered to, and ensure continued accountability within the industry. This is a good example of a system that works to the benefit of the customer and it would seem only right that in a sector where an individual’s actions can have a major effect on the safety of numerous people those individuals are appropriately qualified

Keeping up

The world of Property management is constantly evolving, with the needs of residents, Residents Management Companies (RMCs) and Developers ever increasing, investing in staff training is fundamental, it’s not an option. With potentially a new set of standards being set across the board, we have to adapt to be more precise and measurable in our skillsets, and the qualifications achieved. As a group providing services to the property sector, we take progression and development very seriously, both individually and as a company. We see this mandatory regulation as a positive step towards sifting out those who ‘say’ they deliver, and those who actually do, whilst establishing those who do it well! Catching (and disciplining) those companies who bend the rules can only be a good thing, helping customers and clients to recognise companies they can trust.

Our opinion

Our opinion is that by regulating standards and identifying a unified set of skills required for each role (this may be different for property management than for letting services), tighter control can be achieved. There should be a clear list of professional bodies that managing agents are required to be a member of, and an overseeing governing body who regulates the process. The regulatory approach should be based upon collaboration with those being regulated. Working together can only improve the standards of property management, driving self-improvement and bringing value to the homeowner, through ethical business practice. Such improvements will enhance the professional image and status of those employed in the industry, too often we are seen as the poor relation to chartered surveyors, solicitors and other professional people. The goal must be to create a professional service that attracts the best people and that over time the regulatory framework will help to raise the status of property managers.  

Forward-thinking

We believe that everyone should apportion a minimum amount of time per month towards professional development, encouraged and recognised by the company and that CPD should be mandatory to all property managers irrespective of which professional body they belong to. In our own business, we continually learn from each other, and we actively welcome feedback. We operate a ‘no-blame' culture, where holding your hand up should things not go to plan is seen as a strength not a weakness, something to learn from. Being professional and doing the right thing at all times is important, because then everything else falls into place. Our residents and clients want complete clarity, they need to know who the approved suppliers of qualified services are, and this regulation standard will provide that together with the reassurance that the person responsible for their building is appropriately trained and qualified.

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