The enforcement team, which is led by National Trading Standards, will build on the previous work of the organisation’s estate agency team by incorporating oversight of letting agents too.
It is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Letting agency regulation will be led from Bristol City Council while estate agency regulation will continue to be operated from Powys County Council.
The team will be responsible for issuing prohibition and warning orders to firms found to to be unfit to operate as estate agents, approving and overseeing consumer redress schemes and ombudsman in the sector, and issuing guidance on estate agency work in the UK and relevant letting agency work in England.
James Munro, head of the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team, said that bringing the two functions under one team meant there would be a single point of contact for enforcement work, adding: “This single team approach will help us uphold consumers’ rights and enforce the law.”
Heather Wheeler MP, housing minister, continued: “There is no place for unfair fees – now, with this new enforcement authority, we will be able to stamp them out.”