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New Regulations for Advertising Property

March, 2022

Estate agents will soon be required to adhere to the first phase of new regulations requiring them to provide certain important information at the time of listing a property for sale.

It has been a long time coming and is something I am fully in favour of. For many years the regulation of property advertisements was controlled by the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 (PMA). The PMA was repealed in 2013 on the basis that the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 20081 (CPRs) provided similar protection for consumers in their dealings with property agents.

To support businesses in the advertising and marketing of property, the National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team established a steering group to improve the provision of material information in property listings, and part of this process involves creating a framework of information disclosure to help agents, software providers and property portals to comply with the legal requirements of the CPRs.

There will be three parts to it and by the end of May 2022 Part A of Trading Standards Guidance Document will come into force.

The relevant data fields have already started to appear on portals from February 2022 and by the end of May 2022, this information will be required as standard on all property listings. From then, if an estate agent leaves a field empty, this will be flagged on the listing and will link to advice for consumers on why that information is important and how it may be obtained.

The following information will be mandatory under Part A -

1. Tenure (applicable to sales listings only)

If Freehold the listing must simply disclose that however if Leasehold then in addition to disclosing that it must also include current ground rent and any review period, current service charge information and any review period and length of lease.

 

2. Council Tax (England, Wales & Scotland), or Rates (Northern Ireland)

The council tax band must be disclosed in England, Wales and Scotland whilst the rates payable must be disclosed in Northern Ireland.

 

3. Price or Rent

For sale properties you must disclose the price expressed as a single amount whilst for rental properties the monthly rent, and any deposit payable must be disclosed.

 

4. Shared Ownership

If Shared ownership, listings must disclose details of the share being sold, and any additional liabilities or obligations.

 

As we move forward, and Parts B and C are introduced it will not be possible for estate agents to list properties on the portals unless all the information has been disclosed.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments and if you have any questions on this or anything else related to selling and/or buying property then please drop us a message, call on 01452 260993 or email enquiries@rbwalters.co.uk

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