Date Published 02 July 2012
A new property portal which has launched claiming to be regulated by the RICS has been told to remove the references.
PropertyPortal.com says on its site that it believes it is ‘the ONLY UK and international property portal in the world to be regulated by RICS … We chose RICS regulation because we believe it guarantees our members and the visiting public professionalism, integrity and business ethics as well as an international reach’.
But the RICS said in a statement: `The website is advertising that it is ‘Regulated by RICS’. As at June 27, we can confirm that although an application was submitted, and is being processed, the firm is not currently ‘Regulated by RICS’.
`RICS Regulation takes the conduct of its members and firms very seriously. It reviews and investigates complaints about members and/or regulated firms and, where appropriate, takes disciplinary action in cases where members and/or regulated firms fall short of the standards expected of them.
`RICS Regulation has written to the proprietor to ask that the logo ‘Regulated by RICS’, and any other reference to being regulated by RICS, is immediately removed from the website and other stationery.`
The portal, which is run by RICS member Andrew Goldthorpe and is Oxford-based, also displays the logos for the NAEA and ARLA.
The portal, which features a language translation service for international users, is inviting listings from agents and claims already to feature hundreds of thousands.
Many of the listings that EAT has seen do not carry the name of the agent, although one that is named is Harrison Murray. It is not clear what the costs are, although the site does say these are ‘transparent’.
Nick Salmon, managing director of Harrison Murray, said his firm had not signed up to the site, and did not know the costs, saying that it was not his company’s policy to pay to go on new portals.
Andrew Goldthorpe was invited to comment but was unable to do so. However, he invited us to talk to him next week.