… not by a commercial body that does not have the authority to issue ‘licences’ particularly when it will only do so if you pay them £555.00

I have looked in to the detail of the NAEA’s announcement today regarding their ‘licensing’ launch.

And I have to say that it should be treated with some trepidation.

Having called the National Association of Estate Agents just now it seems that a firm or its principals must be NAEA members in order to be ‘licensed’. The cost of joining for the two thirds of agents not already enrolled is £555! (This includes the technical qualification course materials, exam and membership and joining fee).

Pretty prohibitive under current circumstances.

I have asked the NAEA if there is any way that one can be accredited to this new scheme without joining the Association and was told that such a thing was not possible.

So not only is the scheme prohibitive to those that do not wish to join the NAEA for whatever reason, but it is also prohibitive as to cost. One wonders if this initiative by Peter Bolton King is therefore merely a sales campaign to increase NAEA income?

I was also told by an NAEA employee today that their ‘licensing scheme’ is Government approved. It appears that Grant Shapps has indeed welcomed the principle of self regulation in a statement yesterday. However that is far from formal Government accreditation isn’t it?

You’ll notice that I have included the word ‘licensing’ in inverted commas throughout this article. And that is because a licensing scheme can not simply be picked up by all and sundry as a formal mandate that shames those that are not part of it. I am all for proper licensing and regulation within our industry. But it needs to be just that and not something where the detail and membership criteria is exclusive and costly and the domain of a private body who may just use the term to drum up membership.

The NAEA should immediately rename their scheme as an accreditation, for it is NOT licensing in the truthful and official sense as designated by a formal authority. The public must not be misled otherwise.

Emoov Limited are members of the Property Ombudsman Scheme as accredited by the Office of Fair Trading and are the first online estate agency to take membership of the e-Homebuying Forum. Emoov are also members of the Federation of Small Businesses.

Russell Quirk

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