You will all have seen the recent news where a Wiltshire Estate Agent was fined £200k by Swindon Magistrates Court for failing to undertake the necessary health and safety risk assessment, after a buyer fell 9m down a well during an 'open house' viewing.
Following the introduction of the new sentencing guidelines, which came into force last year, this is just one example of large fines the sector has faced in recent months.
The Health and Safety Executive led the investigation and the agency pleaded guilty to breaching section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £200,000, and ordered to pay costs of £2,474.
We expect all our member agents to work to the highest professional standards possible, and it is now more important than ever that you take note of the new reforms and consider the effect this could have on your business if you were to be prosecuted.
Along with turnover, culpability plays a key part in the process of calculating a fine, so it is essential that you minimise culpability by ensuring that you have the right systems in place to manage all areas of regulatory compliance.
The Business Regulatory Solution (BRS), delivered by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, is an online compliance tool that agents can tailor and use to reduce their risk and improve compliance.
CTSI quote, said: “Many firms in this sector have faced fines for price fixing and fire safety breaches in managed properties and this new solution can help you manage these risks and protect your business with advice, guidance and resources covering health and safety, food, fire, environment, licensing, fair trading, product safety and dealing with customers.
“The BRS can become your central regulatory control system as the intuitive online platform can be tailored to support your existing policies and procedures.”Find out more
To find out more about BRS and view a demonstration of the tool, please visit the CTSI website
To read some of the industry reports concerning the Wiltshire agent and the court-ordered £200,000 fine, please refer to the links below:Estate Agent Today: Guilty agency "deeply distressed" by buyer's 30-foot fall at viewing
Property Industry Eye: NEWSFLASH! Estate agent fined £200,000 after woman fell down well during viewing