A working party set up by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has called for the property management industry to be formally regulated. This was the centrepiece of a range of measures encouraging greater transparency in the sector and raising industry standards.
The recommendation came as a result of a thorough investigation by RICS into the operating practices of the residential property management industry, particularly with regard to service charges and insurance commissions. Commenting on the announcement, Gerry Fox, a member of the RICS working party said: “It is significant that … there has been extensive legislation directly involving this sector in 1972, 1974, 1980, 1985, 1987, 1993, 1996, and 2002. The extensive legislation…can only point to a lack of success. I liken it to the smoker who has given up smoking many times. Once or twice should have been enough.”
The call for regulation has been met with cautious optimism by the industry. Roger Southam, Chairman of property managers Chainbow and another member of the working party, said the recommendations did not go far enough: “Whether the recommendations are a point in the right direction and more detail expressing tactical outcomes could follow. A homeowner cannot request information they do not know exists.”.