UK estate agents have reacted in horror as Business secretary Vince Cable department of Business Innovation and Skills proposes to relax the Estate Agent Act. One Estate Agents body even issued images of a battered pensioner suggesting that proposals would led to increased assaults.
The British Government is committed to reducing the regulatory burdens on business in order to help economic growth. The Ã¢â¬ÅRed Tape ChallengeÃ¢â¬Â process is scrutinising UK legislation to see where there may be scope for amendments or repeals to reduce regulatory burdens. As part of this exercise there has been a proposal to amend the Estate Agents Act (EAA)1979.
The proposal is to open up the UK estate agency market to new business models which current legislation is holding back. For Sale By Owner competition has been stifled by laws that were designed to protect consumers.
CEO Nick Marr, whose company operate private house sales website The Little House Company, said that he had made a Ã¢â¬ËsignificantÃ¢â¬â¢ contribution to the consultation process by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Ã¢â¬ÅWe showed that several business models that we want to launch that were potentially in breach of the law. Services such as offering to sell by social media, matching buyers and sellers, and erecting a For Sale board all breached the Act.
Ã¢â¬ÅWe called for a relaxation of the laws which were designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous estate agents. The Act was keeping the status quo and not allowing innovation and creativity within the industry.
Mark Hayward, president of the NAEA, said:
Ã¢â¬ÅThe NAEA are of course submitting a response to the GovernmentÃ¢â¬â¢s consultation
on the Estate Agent Act.
Ã¢â¬ÅWe strongly oppose any measure that erodes vital consumer protection, which we believe these proposals will do.
The Independent Network of Estate Agents INEA were apologized to its readership after publishing distrurbing images of an elderly women who had been assaulted. The newsletter was meant to demonstrate its fears in allowing DIY home sales.
The apology issued today read Ã¢â¬ÅFirstly INEA would like to apologize for the upsetting images we sent out of elderly beaten people. I hope all will agree that this is not something that we have done before or intend to do again. It was intended as a call to action - an insight that the Estate Agent Act keeps agents in place to provide more than budget internet marketing by making all attempts to confirm that viewers are not bogus thugs.Ã¢â¬Â