Suffolk Estate Agent Todd lewis of Bychoice Sudbury, is calling on the goverment to licence all Estate Agents.
At present, absolutely anyone can set themselves up as an estate agent, regardless of qualifications or experience, according to The Royal Instituton of Chartered Surveyors...
What a sobering thought, given the vast amount of money involved in property these days. Last year, in response to an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report, RICS said that they had called for "enforceable minimum standards and effective licensing of agents".
This position, they said, was shared by consumer rights group Which?, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OAE) - a number of heavy players in the property industry.
RICS believed that these minimum standards should include appropriate knowledge and qualifications as well as an effective independent redress mechanism. At that time, however, the government rejected this approach arguing that competition would resolve any problems in the marketplace.
Now, nearly halfway through 2005, RICS feels that the public is confused about property valuations, and therefore greater control needs to be implemented in this aspect of the market.
At the moment it's quite feasibe that a market appraisal could be carried out by someone who isn't necessarily qualified, as opposed to a valuation provided by a qualified surveyor.
Chartered surveyors' valuations, says RICS, are supported by years of education, technical training, professional qualification and independent redress . All RICS members must work to a strict code of conduct and are regulated by their professional body.
RICS believes the public has a right to expect a high level of professional competence and ethical standards from those they use in what is often the most expensive purchase of their lives, and promises to continue pressing the government to introduce effective controls into the property industry.