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To protect consumers from unscrupulous practices, anyone who goes into business as an estate agent must be a member of a redress scheme. 

The Consumer, Estate Agents and Redress Act (CEAR Act) 2007 outlines the legal requirements for such schemes.

This guide will provide you with valuable information about navigating these laws successfully. 

What does the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act cover?

The CEAR Act 2007 gives the Secretary of State power to require estate agents to join an Ombudsman scheme and strengthen regulation for estate agencies. 

This includes requiring estate agents to keep records, allowing trade standards officers to inspect them, and expanding circumstances where the OFT can take regulatory action against them.

The CEAR Act 2007 requires estate agent businesses to join an approved redress scheme.

What is an estate agent redress scheme?

Redress schemes allow customers to escalate complaints if they're dissatisfied during the sales process with how you've dealt with the transaction as a sales negotiator. 

You're violating this requirement if you don't sign up for one while engaged in real estate sales. There are two approved redress schemes, namely:

What happens if an estate agency does not join a redress scheme?

Engaging in selling and purchasing real estate without being a member of an approved redress scheme can result in a local authority trading standards service issuing a Penalty Charge Notice of £1,000.

Why should my agency join the scheme?

Article 2 of the Estate Agents (Redress Scheme) Order 2008 says that if you engage in residential estate agency work, you must be a member of an approved redress scheme.

What are the estate agent's duties?

Whether they’re physical or online estate agents, it’s the estate agent’s job to fulfil the following duties to residential property buyers and sellers:


  • Understand the prospective buyer's needs and help them find a property for sale that fits their requirements and desires
  • Arrange viewings
  • Help present an offer to the seller
  • Manage the administration aspects of the property purchase


  • Use their local property market knowledge to set a price on the seller’s property
  • Market the property
  • Vet potential buyers
  • Conduct viewings
  • Manage the administrative aspects of the sale

Get legal assistance from LawBite

Have you got more questions about complying with the Estate Agents Act 1979 or joining a redress scheme? Our commercial lawyers can provide you with the legal advice you need to ensure that you are fully compliant with the legislation, protecting you from potential legal disputes and expensive litigation.

To find out how our expert lawyers can support your business, book a free 15 minute consultation or call us on 020 3808 8314.

Additional resources

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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