Regulation of estate agents, auctioneers and management agents
What are property services providers?
Property service providers (PSPs) are people or companies involved in:
- Auctioning property other than land
- Buying, selling or letting land
- Property management services
- Estate agents
- Letting agents
- Management agents
Who regulates property services providers?
The Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) is responsible for licensing and regulating property services providers in Ireland.
The PRSA is also responsible for:
- Investigating consumer complaints about property service providers and running a redress system
- Promoting increased consumer protection and public awareness about how property services are provided
- Maintaining a compensation fund
- Maintaining the Residential Property Price Register
- Maintaining the Commercial Lease Register
- Maintaining the Register of Licensed Property Service Providers
What is a PSRA licence?
A PSRA licence is a licence granted by the PSRA to a Property Service Provider (PSP). All PSPs must have a PSRA licence. A PSP can only provide the service or services that they have a licence for. The PSRA keeps and publishes a register of all licensed property services providers.
The register lists certain details about the PSP, such as their:
- Licence type
There are 4 different licence types:
- Type A - The auction of property other than land (for example, fine art, antiques, animals)
- Type B - The purchase or sale (by auction or private treaty) of land (including buildings)
- Type C - The letting of land (including buildings)
- Type D - Property management services
PSPs can apply for their licences online at prsalicences.ie. Licences are valid for 1 year and must be renewed annually.
The PRSA has published a Guide to becoming a licensed property services provider (pdf) to help PSPs understand the requirements of being licensed and how to complete the application forms.
How do I know if a PSP is licensed?
You can check if a PSP is licensed by the PSRA by:
- Checking the Register of Licensed Property Service Providers
- Asking to see the property services provider's PSRA licence card
- Looking for the PSRA business licence, which must be on display in the PSP’s office or at an auction
Using a licensed PSP gives you consumer protection. It is illegal to provide a property service without a licence. PSPs trading without one can be:
If you think a PSP is providing a property service without a licence, you should report this to the PRSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using a property services provider
The PSRA has a useful guide for using PSPs in Ireland (pdf). This guide provides information on what to expect when using a licensed PSP. PSP’s should behave professionally and should follow the regulations and Code of Practice set out for the industry.
If you are a property owner and you use a PSP to sell, let or manage a property, the PSP must give you a Letter of Engagement (LOE), also known as a Property Services Agreement (PSA).
The LOE or PSA is an agreed contract between you and the PSP. The document should clearly outline what property services are being provided and all costs involved. An LOE or PSA is a legal and binding contract between you and your agent.
Making a complaint about a PSP and getting compensation
Anyone can make a complaint against a licensed PSP about improper conduct, which happened when the PSP was providing a property service. These complaints should be made in writing to the PSRA.
The PRSA manages a compensation fund, which is funded by the property services sector. This fund provides compensation to people who have used a licensed PSP and have incurred losses because of the dishonesty of a licensed PSP.
To make a claim for compensation, the PSP must have had a valid licence when the property service was provided.
For more information, read the PSRA’s guide to making a claim.
What is the Commercial Leases Register?
The PSRA maintains and publishes the Commercial Leases Register, which contains information about all commercial leases entered into since 1 January 2010. Commercial leases include:
- Office leases
- Retail leases
- Industrial leases
- Most agricultural or land leases
Almost all leases where stamp duty is paid to the Revenue Commissioners are commercial leases.
If you are a tenant (person, company, organisation or public body) of a commercial lease, you must make a Commercial Lease Return to the PSRA when starting a new lease. This is a statutory requirement. A Commercial Lease Return can be made free of charge using a Commercial Lease Return Form.
The purpose of the Commercial Leases Register is to provide transparency in the commercial rental market. It may be helpful if you are about to begin a commercial lease, because it lets you view the cost of similar leases.
The PSRA have a fact sheet on the Commercial Lease Return Form (pdf).
You can also contact the Commercial Leases Unit of the PSRA on email@example.com for more information about making a return.
What is the Residential Property Price Register?
The PSRA maintains and publishes the Residential Property Price Register, which includes information on all residential properties purchased in Ireland since 1 January 2010. The register includes the following information about each residential property sold:
- Date of sale
- Price of the property
- Address of the property
The Register is produced using stamp duty declarations to the Revenue Commissioners. It should not be viewed as a property price index.