In two years’ time the new property regulator will very likely be addressing the Association of Residential Managing Agents, its annual conference was told yesterday.
Lord Richard Best gave the keynote speech addressing his work on the appointment of a new “property regulator” who – in the leasehold sector – will be tasked with ensuring transparency of leaseholder and freeholder charges.
The regulation of managing agents – long argued by ARMA, which also strongly ratcheted up its own efforts at self-regulation with ARMA-Q – will apply to companies and to individual managing agents, said Lord Best.
Lord Best was tasked by government to propose a regulatory regime for property agents, including block managing agents.
Neither ARMA – nor LKP – were deemed suitable to join Lord Best’s working committee.
The conference also heard from the property regulator in the Irish Republic, Maeve Hogan, who heads Dublin’s Property Services Regulatory Authority. It has apparently been a great success, since its inception in 2011.
Around 600 attended the ARMA conference, which also enjoyed the watchful attendance of freeholder outfits such as Estates and Management, Wallace Estates and Long Harbour.
On the whole, statutory regulation is not a controversial issue among the ARMA membership, which has long accepted its need.
Those companies that did not like the way leasehold management was going – Countryside, for example – left the trade body over the enhanced ethical standards in the ARMA-Q intitiative.
Lord Best’s regulatory code includes:
“The regulatory code should include standards for transparency; potential conflicts of interest (e.g. mandatory disclosure of commissions and management fee charges); communication and use of service charges; administration charges; permission fees; use of covenants; and protection of client money.”