This must count as the most bizarre government decision in a long time. But from 31 March, Powys County Council will take over the Office for Fair Trading’s role as the lead enforcement body for all UK estate agents.
When I was first told this, I assumed it was a joke. Powys County Council might have many strengths but one struggles to see how they are qualified to be the lead enforcement agency for estate agents in London or Birmingham or, frankly, anywhere other than Powys.
But when you check Hansard, it is confirmed by the relevant minister the Lib Dem Jenny Willott:
‘The Office of Fair Trading has a duty to supervise the working and enforcement of the Estate Agents Act 1979. The OFT may take action against those who do not comply, including by banning estate agents where necessary. From 31 March, the role will transfer to a lead enforcement authority—as we all know, Powys county council—which will enforce the measures throughout the UK.’
So, if you have a complaint about your estate agent and regardless of where you live in the UK, you’ll have to take it up with Powys County Council.