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Advisers call for property regulation

Several financial advisers have called on government to regulate direct property investment advice, with some pointing to long-term benefits to clients.
Speaking to ifa, FMS Group director Christine Hornery said property is a long-term asset and that regulation would support this attitude within the industry. 
“Many investors prefer property investment because it is tangible and they believe that property, over time, will provide capital growth. In my experience this is not always the case,” Ms Hornery said.
“If all property consultants were licensed, it would help to ensure that their focus moved beyond transactional to also consider the long-term effect on the investor’s position.”
Ulton Charter Accountants partner and head of financial planning Kylie Wright said she has seen clients who have been given “wildly inappropriate advice” by a real estate agent.
Acting in a client’s best interest should see all sectors of the investment industry working together to achieve a positive outcome, she said.
“Like any industry, the real estate industry has good practitioners and bad,” Ms Wright said.
“The best work as professionals alongside a client’s accountant, financial adviser and solicitor to ensure the right outcome for the client.
“ The worst give misleading and incorrect advice which can cost clients thousands.”
Matt Kidd, managing director of dealer group Omniwealth Services, concurred with the call for property advice regulation, saying that in some cases the people advising on property have little experience in the market. However, he said he believes the sector will eventually be regulated.
“We put layers and layers of research over our advice, but that’s only because it is best practice,” Mr Kidd said.
“Ultimately, we want our clients to be with us for 10, 15, and 20 years, so if we advise on a property now it needs to be a good property because they are still going to be with us.”