Following the House of Lords proposal that letting and managing agents should be subject to the Estate Agents Act 1979, on 16 April 2013 the Government tabled a draft legislation under amendments to the Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill, to open the way for better regulation of letting and managing agents.  These amendments will permit the Secretary of State to introduce secondary registration which will require letting and/or managing agents of domestic property to belong to a redress scheme.

This also follows the recent OFT report on the lettings market suggesting agents sign up to a code of practice or join a redress scheme.

The current proposal is for there to be consultation first, although no draft consultation paper exists.  The understanding is that the OFT recommendations will be taken into account in the drafting of any secondary legislation.

The intention is for the Government to introduce the secondary legislation as soon as possible.

The proposals do not extend to letting agents dealing with commercial properties.

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