Unsurprisingly, landlords tend to buy and sell property more frequently than the majority of the population which means that changes to the way in which estate agencies are regulated can have a significant impact.
Following a period of consultation, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published its proposals to amend the Estate Agency Act 1979 and to repeal the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991.
The Government intends to partially deregulate the estate agency market, in order to remove ‘private sale intermediaries’ from the scope of the Act and avoid duplicating the functions of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs).
‘Private sale intermediaries’ are essentially companies which, usually for a fixed fee, allow individuals to advertise their property for sale using a third party infrastructure of some king i.e. a web-portal which provides the means for advertising to potential consumers, but does not actively undertake negotiation or provide advice.
Housing industry commentators have highlighted the potential for confusion on the part of some buyers and vendors about what services they can expect from companies operating in this field, although the NLA is hopeful that this change will lead to greater innovation and more flexibility concerning property sales.
This change will hopefully enable those experienced property professionals who wish to transact without the expense of engaging an agent to do so, without forgoing the access to market estate agencies usually represent.