Regulation Update - Material Information on Listings 31st May 2022
A property's council tax band or rate, the property price and tenure information (for sales) must be included on all property listings by the end of May 2022 and these data fields will start to appear on portals over the coming weeks. These changes represent the first phase of a project by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team, in partnership with industry leaders and the UK’s major property portals, to define what constitutes material information for property listings.
Stuart Bennet from Bennet Samways said “I am pleased that this is a step forward in helping our industry give clarity on what information we should disclose. I have often get frustrated in the lack of information provided by competitors, not providing enough information in the agent’s listings. Good news for our business, is that we already display all of this information and much more.”
As new data fields for tenure, price and council tax are added to portals, if they are left empty by an agent, this will be flagged on the listing so consumers can see what information is missing. This will link to advice on why that information is important and how it may be obtained.
National Trading Standards wants all material information to be mandatory on property listings once all three phases of the project are complete. At that stage, agents will need to include all the required information before it is listed on a property portal.
Under current legislation, as set out in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, estate agents and letting agents have a legal obligation not to omit material information from consumers on property listings. But current practices around disclosure are not consistent across the industry.
Three stages of material information disclosure:
Part A - Information that, regardless of outcome, is always considered material for all properties regardless of location. This information generally involves unavoidable costs that will be incurred by the occupier regardless of the use of the property.
Part B - Information that must be established for all properties. It applies mainly to utilities (and similar), where non-standard features would affect someone’s decision to look any further at that property.
Part C - Additional material information that may or may not need to be established, depending on whether the property is affected or impacted by the information. Applies to properties affected by the issue itself because of, for example, the location of the property.
Article sourced from The National Trading Standards UK.