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PPA : Spinnaker Tower
PPA : Spinnaker Tower

Tom on the ball with brace of chairmanships

Chartered surveyor Tom Holloway has been re-elected for the second consecutive year as Chairman of Portsmouth Property Association(PPA).

He takes the reins again for 2018/19 for the association, which was established 98 years ago, covers the Solent region and has more than 150 members.

Tom, a director at independent chartered surveyors and commercial and industrial property consultants Holloway Iliffe & Mitchell in Portsmouth, is only the third person in over half a century to hold the chairmanship for back-to-back years.

Chris Green, manager at the regional office of nationwide conveyancing search group PSG,was elected Vice Chairman at the association’s annual general meeting.

As a former semi-pro rugby player, Tom’s main charity focus for the year will be a special initiative set up by ex-England rugby union star Lawrence Dallaglio, who was part of the team that won the 2003 World Cup against Australia.

Dallaglio RugbyWorks is an intensive, long-term skills development programme based on rugby – the aim is to get teenagers who have been excluded from mainstream education into sustained education, employment or training.

“The PPA could help turn lives around if we can help bring Lawrence’s inspirational programme to the Portsmouth region,” Tom said.

Another charity to benefit from Tom’s chairmanship, in conjunction with Southampton Property Association (SPA), will be a campaign called Pledge 150.

This sees the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors partnering with LandAid, the property sector’s charity, to raise £2.25 million for the provision of 150 bed spaces for youngsters at risk of homelessness.

Tom’s main beneficiary for 2017/18, thanks to the PPA’s generosity, was Cosham-based Elizabeth Foundation, which helps pre-school deaf children learn to listen and talk.

The PPA has raised around £100,000 for local charities in the past 13 years, with the association’s annual black-tie fundraiser a key driver.

February’s sell-out event – tickets were snapped up within a week of going on sale – saw 200 guests raise £8,000 at Portsmouth’s Royal Maritime Club, where former world champion snooker professional Steve Davis was guest speaker.

Rob Marchant, the Hampshire auctioneer with Clive Emson Auctioneers and a long-standing PPA member, organised the event.

Clive Emson, the firm’s founder and chairman, was guest auctioneer, helping increase the prices paid for star auction prizes with his trademark wry comments.

Reflecting on the first year in office, Tom said: “As an association, we achieved a lot, including raising thousands of pounds for the Elizabeth Foundation and showing how the PPA is an active part of the community.

“A calendar highlight was the first joint-hosted event for the PPA and SPA, where nearly 200 agents, developers, lawyers and occupiers heard from seven local authorities about long-term investment and infrastructure plans for the South Coast.”

Held at The Forum, Solent Business Park, the event in February raised £1,500 for the Elizabeth Foundation and the same amount for SPA’s chosen charity, Yellow Door, which supports people affected by sexual and domestic abuse.

Tom said he will continue to build membership, grow networking occasions and opportunities and hold events which count towards continuing professional development (CPD), the industry standard.

PPA members include estate agents, lettings and property management agents, commercial property agents, chartered surveyors, developers, accountants, solicitors and bankers.

Plans to professionalise estate agency market welcomed by PPA

New government plans to regulate the residential estate agency sector have been welcomed by Portsmouth Property Association (PPA).

Among a raft of measures, estate agents will be required to hold a professional qualification and be transparent about the fees they receive for referring clients to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers.

Tom Holloway, in his second year as chairman, said: “Whilst our members already adhere to our association’s high standards, there is a general feeling here that a level playing field can only be a good thing.

“The selling process already has mandatory qualifications for conveyancers, mortgage advisers, solicitors and surveyors, so the reform of estate agency may be considered long overdue.

“It is a logical step for the government to bring residential estate agents, including online operators, into line with a nationally recognised and obligatory professional qualification before they can do business.”

Currently there is no mandatory regulation of estate agents. With no barriers to entry, anyone can in theory set up without evidencing professional competence.

There is the reassurance of the National Association of Estate Agents Propertymark; the voluntary scheme by the professional body means customers are guaranteed to be consulting with a professional agent providing latest advice and guidance.

Mr Holloway, a commercial property agent and registered Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors valuer, said: “House buyers and sellers are rightly demanding best practice, transparency and accountability.

“A formal professional qualification should deter rogue operators who let the industry down and can’t compensate customers who experience malpractice.”

“We welcome the measures, which followed an eight-week consultation period.”

He added: “There is a counter-argument that bringing in a professional qualification, which is as yet unspecified, will drive up costs and generate red tape for what is in essence a selling role but what matters is what buyers want – and it appears that licensed regulation is the wish.”

PPA has 150 members, including estate agents, auctioneers, lettings and property management agents, commercial property agents, chartered surveyors, developers, accountants, solicitors and bankers.

The umbrella group, established 98 years ago, promotes and maintains the highest professional ethics and integrity amongst its members.

According to the government, measures to “professionalise” house buying and estate agency will include:

  • Insisting sales agents and letting agents hold a professional qualification and be transparent about the fees they receive for referring clients to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers.
  • Encouraging the use of voluntary reservation agreements to help prevent sales falling through and crack down on gazumping, a practice where a new buyer steps in to outbid the current buyer.
  • Setting a timeline for local authority searches so buyers get the information they need within 10 days.
  • Requiring managing agents and freeholders to provide up-to-date lease information for a set fee and to an agreed timetable which will “end the current situation where leaseholders are at the mercy of freeholders and their agents”.
  • Strengthening the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team so it can carry out more enforcement activity, which includes banning agents.
  • Publishing guides on ‘How to Buy’ and ‘How to Sell’ to ensure customers are better informed of the process and know what questions they should be asking.
  • Working with consumer groups and industry to develop a “consistent set of performance metrics for conveyancers” so consumers can make a more informed choice.

Announcing the measures, the then Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their life. But for far too long buyers and sellers have been trapped in a stressful system full of delays and uncertainty.”

“So we’re going to put the consumers back in the driving seat. We will require estate agents to hold a qualification so that people are no longer at risk from a minority of rogue agents and can trust the process when buying or selling their home.”

The government, looking to “increase confidence in the buying chain”, says its proposals will professionalise the sector, creating a more trustworthy and reliable industry better held to account.

According to the government, there are around 20,000 estate agent businesses across the country, and currently, anyone can practice as an estate agent.

“The changes set out will professionalise the sector, creating a more trustworthy and reliable industry who will be better held to account,” the reform announcement stated.

Official figures show that one million homes are bought and sold in England each year but around a quarter of sales fall through, wasting hundreds of millions of pounds.

Consumer protection regulations are already in place to deter estate agents from unfair or misleading trading practices – criminal breaches can lead to fines or imprisonment.

There are also three compulsory redress schemes following government action – the Property Ombudsman, Property Redress Scheme and, until later this year, Ombudsman Services Property.

In a related development, the government says a working group will be set up to bring industry and partners, such as HM Land Registry, together to look at developing innovative digital solutions to speed up the home buying and selling process.

James Chamberlain

James is a solicitor with Biscoes. James specialises in commercial property transactions, which include leases for commercial premises such as shops, offices and factories; and the sale and purchase of business properties and residential developments. James is an accredited civil and commercial mediator having trained with Clear ADR in 2013.

James can be contacted by email: jchamberlain@biscoes-law.co.uk or by telephone: 02392 660261.

Members: Graeme Quar, Jack Archer, James Chamberlain, Melanie Palfrey, Robin Keeler

MH Architects

MH Architects, founded in 1986, have a strong track record across a number of sectors but especially residential, commercial and education. Our area of operations has expanded in recent years to include more work in London, but we have retained a focus along the south coast. For more information, please visit: www.mharchitects.co.uk.

Members: Nathanael King-Smith

Nathanael King-Smith

Nathanael (Nat) is a Director at MH Architects. Nat trained at the University of Portsmouth and has stayed in the area ever since. His background includes extensive work on ultra energy efficient buildings, including Passivhaus and residential developments of all scales. Outside of work he enjoys watching live sport, surfing and spending time with his family.

Nat can be contacted by email: nks@mharchitects.co.uk or telephone: 01243 774 748.

Members: Nathanael King-Smith

Jack Archer

Jack is a solicitor at Biscoes. He studied law at undergraduate level at Swansea University and qualified in 2012. Jack then went on to study the LPC in Guildford and graduated in 2015. He qualified as a solicitor in September 2017 and knew straight away that Commercial Property was the field that most appealed to him.

Members: Graeme Quar, Jack Archer, James Chamberlain, Melanie Palfrey, Robin Keeler

Dawn Brogan

Dawn is Consultant Solicitor at Setfords Solicitors. Dawn joined Setfords in 2015 to provide local personal service to her clients, with the support and flexibility of a 50-strong admin. team at head office behind her. Dawn helps people through the conveyancing process to make it as simple, swift and stress free as possible.

 

Branches in: Guildford
Members: Dawn Brogan, Gemma Louise Roberts