Crackdown on rogue estate agentsEstate agents facing tougher rules

15 November 2006

Which? has welcomed plans to make it easier for consumers to take action against rogue estate agents.

Proposed legislation unveiled in the Queens Speech would force all estate agents to join a redress scheme.

This would enable people to complain and get compensation or redress without the expense and hassle of going through the courts.

The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill would also ensure that estate agents have to keep records of their activities which can then be inspected by trading standards officers.

Rogue agents

If the bill is passed the Office of Fair Trading will also have greater powers to take action against rogue agents.

Which? has campaigned for robust regulation of estate agents since our major investigation in 2002.

Which? campaigner Louise Restell said: ‘Which? is pleased to see that estate agents will be required to sign up to an independent complaints procedure, whether they are members of a trade body or not.

‘This means that all home-movers will finally be able to access redress without having to resort to court proceedings.

‘We also support the provisions to toughen up enforcement and increase powers of inspection as this should help prevent problems occurring in the first place.’