New measures to protect public from 'shoddy estate agents'

Posted: 02 Jul 2008 13:14:52 GMT


            Property News - New measures to protect public from 'shoddy estate agents'

A government minister has ordered that all residential estate agents belong to a redress scheme to provide additional protection for those buying and selling homes.

A government minister has ordered that all residential estate agents belong to a redress scheme to provide additional protection for those buying and selling homes.

The order made yesterday (July 1st) in Parliament by consumer minister Gareth Thomas would mean agents complying by October 1st, the BERR reported.

Explaining how the new system will benefit consumers, Mr Thomas said: "People who experience problems with an estate agent will soon have access to a free, easy to use ombudsman. The scheme will be transparent, independent and fair. It will speedily resolve complaints and will have the power to award compensation."

In a bid to drive out dishonest dealers, the new measures will give greater powers to the Office of Fair Trading to "remove rogue estate agents from the market" and increase enforcement officer's investigatory powers.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said that the redress scheme was a welcome measure.

Pula Houghton, campaigns policy manager at Which? said that the company hoped the new measures would "make a genuine difference to those people who suffer at the hands of shoddy estate agents".

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