A former housing minister under the Labour government, Keith Hill, has been appointed as independent regulator for the Association of Residential Managing Agents.
ARMA is setting up a new self-regulatory regime called ARMA-Q, which is set to be introduced from next May.
It will be the first time that managing agents have been subject to independent regulation and marks a welcome improvement in protection for leaseholders.
ARMA-Q will set standards of service among ARMA members, including commitment to a new consumer charter and standards which are specific to the managing agent sector. Members will be scrutinised by an independent regulatory panel made up of industry experts and leaseholder representatives.
Speaking to over 500 managing agents at the ARMA conference, Hill said: “I am delighted to be joining at this exciting time in ARMA’s development. It will be my job as the regulator to be an advocate for the responsible managing agent and a vocal opponent of wrongdoers.
“I want leaseholders and the public to know that this is an organisation where the majority of members are doing the right thing and that we are determined to crack down on those who bring the industry into disrepute.
“My first task in the role will be to appoint the members of the independent regulatory panel and oversee the consultation on the standards. I very much look forward to the challenge.”
Hill was housing minister between 2003 and 2005. He stepped down from Parliament at the 2010 General Election.