Christopher Hamer has joined the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) as a special adviser.
Hamer (pictured) has over 30 years’ industry experience and recently retired from nine years in post at the Property Ombudsman.
He said he is looking forward to using his experience to help develop proper practice in the property sector, through developing legislation and establishing best practice.
During his nine years at the Property Ombudsman, workload grew from around 500 cases in 2006 to what will be 3,000 in 2015 – an increase that arose due to increased membership, expansion of jurisdiction into lettings, commercial, international and auctions and also because of greater awareness of the scheme.
Prior to this, Hamer spent six years at HSBC, where he looked after the compliance needs of posts in 41 countries. This position followed 13 years spent in the private sector Ombudsman, first with the Insurance Ombudsman as director of services and then as general manager for the Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman scheme.
Hamer said: “I very much look forward to working with NAEA and ARLA. As Ombudsman, I always emphasised that the development of best practice in the property sector was an important commitment. Ensuring fair and consistent treatment of customers should be an aim of all agents, and keeping up to date with new legislation will make for greater consumer satisfaction across the industry.
“I recognise that there is a lot of professionalism in the industry, but equally there are still agents who do not conform to acceptable standards. In that regard I will maintain my call for a Property Agents Act to encompass sales and lettings. NAEA and ARLA between them have the largest proportion of agents operating in the UK in membership. I intend to contribute to the development work that the organisations have already done, in terms of helping agents give quality service and in the broader remit of contributing to developing legislation.”
Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents, and David Cox, managing director, Association of Residential Letting Agents, said: “We are thrilled to bring Christopher on board as an advisor. He brings with him a unique skill set that we can use to continue campaigning for regulation and ensuring professionalism across the sector. The housing market is reaching critical point – and is very high on the political agenda at present, so Christopher’s appointment has come at a great time when we can make a real change for first time buyers, last time buyers, landlords, tenants and second steppers.”