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Will the Office of Fair Trading enquiry force compulsory regulation of Estate Agents?

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Well, yes, if the views of the Law Society is heeded. Paul Marsh, the President of the Law Society, which represents 10,000 Solicitors in England and Wales, interviewed in the Times today urged “the way in which Estate Agents operate from top to bottom needs to be looked at”.

The Office of Fair Trading is carrying out a wide review of the housebuying market including solicitors, estate agents and surveyors. The Law Society is not alone in calling for stricter regulation, as Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents(NAEA), concurred by stating “we have been calling for years for regulation or licensing of estate agents and are fed up waiting for the ministers to do something”.

This wait for regulation has prompted the NAEA to introduce its own code of conduct by way of a licensing scheme from this May.

Paul Marsh has a further hope from the outcome of the review. He hopes that Home Information Packs (HIPs) will be scrapped.
The NAEA, this week, expressed a similar but less strident view merely calling for the suspension of HIPs as one of the measures including the abolition of Stamp Duty which is needed to kick start the Housing Market. 

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