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UK Govt. to regulate Estate Agents in foreign property market?

AIPP seeks clarification around proposed new estate agent legislation - this may impact UK-based and foreign-based companies

To determine whether UK-based estate agents (and foreign companies visiting the UK) promoting foreign property need to comply with this legislation, AIPP is consulting with UK National Trading Standards (Estate Agency Team) and the MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government).

Precedent for potential inclusion of practitioners in the foreign property market in this new legislation has already been established by UK HMRC over AML registration requirements, as follows:

Any practicing estate agent with a presence in the UK – this includes simply attending an exhibition and promoting/ facilitating property for purchase or sale – must comply with the Estate Agents Act 1979 (including registration with a redress scheme if promoting residential property) and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (including registration with HMRC).

AIPP recently reported upon a member fined a four-figure amount for non-compliance with HMRC over AML registration – Read this article and access AIPP Compliance guidelines here

Foreign companies coming to the UK to promote projects outside of the UK (including property developers, marketers, as well as Estate Agents), could also be caught by the proposed legislation.

There is no firm timetable for delivery of the new legislation, or when it may come into force, but our sources suggest this might be Q2 2019. You can read the original MHCLG press release announcing this initiative here.

AIPP will consult with members and issue further, confidential, updates to AIPP members, as appropriate