All news articles in date order - newest first.
April Fool? No, the MHCLG announcement was for real…
My first thought was, is this an April Fool jape? I read it through. It isn't. The biggest shake up in the property management sector is coming. It is good news, but it will affect all of us.
On 1st April, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler announced a host of measures to protect consumers, including the regulation of agents to a single code of practice and, critically, mandatory qualifications and CPD for agents/managers. That means they want to regulate both firms AND individuals and depending on your role, you will need a qualification to practice. If you're a qualified professional working for a regulated firm, this should be music to your ears. And it ought to be the biggest win ever for consumers in our sector. We have long asked Government to get rid of the rogues that drag down our reputation. However, there is a 'but…". And it is a big "but…".
Government must get this right and the details will be tricky. Who will get qualified and to what level? One per firm? How does that raise standards in a large firm with dozens, even hundreds of managers? Perhaps everyone who touches a consumer? Does a concierge need to be qualified? If so, to what? What about the small leaseholds, those Edwardian villas split into 3 flats? How does this work for our "build-to-rent" operators with their large unbroken blocks and on-site staff?
We are talking with Government right now. MHCLG (Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government) are setting up an industry working group to figure this out and we will be there. IRPM, your professional body, will help Government to deliver the right result, so that a healthy sector of qualified professionals can deliver better outcomes for our customers.
Government will be looking hard at CPD compliance. We still have members who have not completed their 2017 CPD record and a few naughty folk haven't done 2016 either. CPD is there for a reason; it is your way of staying up to date and safe. If you haven't done your 2017 logging yet, please get it logged in now.
For 2018 CPD, don’t forget to book for the Annual Seminar on the 23rd May; tickets are on sale right now through the IRPM web site and are selling fast. Regional Seminars around the country will be announced in due course.
The next few months are going to be lively and have the potential to catapult our sector into genuine professionalism, with the status and rewards that follow. Getting rid of the rogues is the Government's intention - that has to be good for both consumers and professionals.
Andrew V Bulmer BSc FIRPM FRICS