The OFT approved codes process is no more. The OFT has been stripped of its functions in approving consumer codes of practice and documents. Any agent who is using or displaying any form of OFT approved logo should remove it immediately. Not to do so risks prosecution under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The process of approving codes is now being dealt with by the Trading Standards Institute under the new Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS). At the moment there is no Code approved for property practice (although there are ones for removers and carpets!). There has been no direct indication from any of the letting or estate agent bodies that they will be seeking such approval. Given that it is an expensive process they will no doubt need to be convinced that an approval will provide a genuine benefit to their members.

Ulitmately the value of these schemes is entirely dependent on public awareness. There has been a fairly chequered record of the public in the UK becoming aware of consumer codes. It may be that by placing the scheme in the hands of a private organisation the government intends that they will act to promote approved codes and raise awareness. Only time will tell.