Regulation of Property Services Providers – Auctioneers, Estate Agents, Property Management Agents
Property Services Regulatory Authority
The Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 provides for the establishment of the Property Services Regulatory Authority. The Authority was formally established on 3 April 2012 and consists of a Chairperson and ten ordinary members. The main functions of the Authority are as follows:
Licensing of property services providers
The Act replaces the previous court-based system for regulating auctioneers and house agents with an updated regulatory system covering auctioneers, estate agents and property management agents. As part of the licensing system, the Authority is empowered to specify and implement the following standards:
- Standards relating to the required education, training and experience levels of applicants for licences;
- Levels of professional indemnity insurance;
- Quality of financial accounting systems; and
- Ethical standards to be observed in the provision of property services.
The Authority has taken over the licensing of auctioneers and estate agents and has commenced licensing property managements agents for the first time, with effect from 6 July 2012.
The Authority has the power to investigate complaints against auctioneers, estate agents and property management agents and impose sanctions in respect of improper conduct. It can also carry out investigations on its own volition. The Act also provides for the establishment of a Compensation Fund to provide compensation for losses arising from the dishonesty of licensees.
Setting other property related standards
The Act imposes new obligations on auctioneers, estate agents and property management agents, e.g. it requires auctioneers, estate agents and property management agents to issue a letter of engagement to all clients and it includes provisions aimed at ensuring transparency and preventing conflicts of interest, etc. It also given the Authority a power to make regulations in relation to other property-related matters, such as specifying the content of advertisements for the sale or letting of property; standards for measuring property; the determination of the cost of surveys, etc.
Residential Property Prices and Commercial Leases
The statutory functions of the Property Services Regulatory Authority also include –
- The publication of residential property sales prices;
- The establishment and maintenance of a public database containing relevant details of letting arrangements and rent reviews in the commercial property market.
The Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 and statutory instruments made under the Act are available on the Irish Statute Book website – www.irishstatutebook.ie.
Further information, including an explanatory guide to the Act is available on the Property Services Regulatory Authority’s website – www.psr.ie.
Property Services Appeal Board
The Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 provides for the establishment of a Property Services Appeal Board to hear and determine appeals against certain decisions of the Property Services Regulatory Authority.
A person aggrieved by a decision of the Authority refusing to issue a licence, may within 30 days from the date of receipt of notice of the decision, appeal to the Appeal Board against the decision.
A notice of appeal must be made in writing and should state:
- The name and address of the appellant (person making the appeal);
- The subject matter of the appeal;
- The appellant’s interest in its outcome; and
- The grounds of the appeal and the reasons, considerations and arguments on which they are based.
The notice of appeal should be signed and should be accompanied by any supporting documentation, which the appellant considers necessary or appropriate.
Persons wishing to make an appeal to the Appeal Board against a relevant decision of the Property Services Regulatory Authority should contact the Secretary to the Appeal Board at the postal and/or email addresses listed below:
Secretary to the Property Services Appeal Board
c/o Civil Governance Unit
Dept. of Justice & Equality
51 St. Stephen’s Green