New code of practice for UK estate agents

Posted: 29 Sep 2006 08:48:47 GMT

            Property News - New code of practice for UK estate agents

A new code of practice for estate agents has been launched in the UK.

Estate agents in Britain will be expected to adhere to a new code of practice that will require them to provide clearer information to both buyers and sellers.

The code will apply to the 2,380 members of the Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OEA) and firms will have to be more transparent about charges to comply with the rules.

The OEA code is introduced on October 1st this year and the ombudsman is currently pushing ministers to make compliance with the scheme compulsory. Less than half of all UK estate agents currently belong to the scheme.

Estate agents that have signed up to the OEA code are entitled to use an OFT approved code logo alongside the OEA logo and are also listed on the OFT website.

However, if they break the code agents could face paying compensation of as much as £25,000. Rules of the code include making it mandatory for agents to inform buyers viewing properties if an offer has already been made and pass any offer to sellers in written form.

The OEA has established a new monitoring system for firms, monitored by an independent third party organisation and the organisation aims to improve standards across the residential estate agency sector.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) approved the OEA Code of Practice under its Consumer Codes Approval Scheme on September 1st 2005.

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