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The Housing Minister – a guest blog from Ed Mead

09.04.18

Over the weekend there have been a plethora of interviews with the new [read latest] Housing Minister – Dominic Raab. His arrival has been heralded by the renaming of his Department to include the word Housing and comes off the back of 2017 which saw the number of new build properties actually getting within a standard deviation of the proscribed number.

So far so good, but more worryingly this seems to be the first Housing Minister politicos seem to think has the looks, charm and intellect to actually make a bid for the top job. The downside here is that he will be politicking, he mentions Brexit a LOT, and not necessarily pragmatic enough. His interviews have however touched on vital subjects and his appetite to tackle them will be an indication of which direction he wants to travel – changing the course of the home buying process and how it’s serviced or the keys to No. 10.

The two he mentions that are close to my heart is the avoidance of gazumping, when a buyer who’s agreed to buy a property is knocked out by a later higher bid being accepted by the seller. Let’s never forget that it would also seek to outlaw gazundering, almost as common and when a buyer seeks to lower the agreed price during the process of sale.

Many like Gazeal are really trying to solve the issue and the press reported the first fully digital completion last week.

The second is the desire to see estate and lettings agents qualified. It still beggars belief to me that anyone charged with handling your property, and your cash if you’re letting, can do so with zero qualifications. Much is happening by way of ‘consultations’ with the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government but their history of listening, or even waiting for a reply, is lamentable.

Property redress by way of The Property Ombudsman has always been a step in the right direction but it’s a step that was taken over a decade ago, and bu**er all has happened since.

It needs to.