New Property Services Regulatory Authority established

Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter TD, yesterday, announced that he has signed the first Commencement Order and the Establishment Order under the Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011.

Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter TD, yesterday, announced that he has signed the first Commencement Order and the Establishment Order under the Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011.

The primary purpose of the Act is to establish the Property Services Regulatory Authority with a mandate to set and enforce standards in the provision of property services by auctioneers, letting agents and property management agents and to provide redress mechanisms for consumers of those services.

The Authority will also have statutory responsibility for the publication of residential property sales prices and the establishment and maintenance of a Commercial Leases Database. Minister Shatter said: “I believe that the lack of transparency in the residential housing market and the absence of proper consumer protection standards, have contributed in no small way to the problems of recent years. That is why the Programme for Government contains a strong commitment to improve the quality of information available on the Irish housing market by requiring that the selling price of all dwellings is recorded in a publicly available, national housing database.” Under the legislation, auctioneers will be required to publish a realistic ‘advised market value’ of property for sale rather than using the discredited ‘guide price’ mechanism.

Mr Shatter concluded by saying: “The new requirement for transparency when auctioneers provide advice and information about the availability of loans from lending institutions to intending purchasers, will help to avoid the type of conflict of interests which can result in such purchasers borrowing excessively to their detriment.”