The property industry has appointed a new frontwoman to help improve its reputation. Dame Janet Paraskeva, a former chief executive of the Law Society, will chair a new standards and regulation board that is being set up by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to help maintain public trust and confidence in the profession.

UK Cypriot Dame Janet whose father is from Neta in Cyprus  is expected to bring clout to the regulator as the estate agency sector comes under increased scrutiny from ministers concerned about poor practices. The Property Ombudsman, a public redress scheme, received a record 29,000 inquiries last year, up 22 per cent on the previous year.

Dame Janet is chairwoman of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, a legal profession regulator, where she has supported the development of new rules and guidance that must be made available to homebuyers as they shop around.

Her extensive regulatory and board experience includes serving as chief executive of the National Youth Agency and as First Civil Service Commissioner. She was also a non-executive director of the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

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