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National Trading Standards has announced the first step in introducing new material disclosure rules, on what agents and landlords should include in property listings.
Phase one is to go live this month, with agents required to be on board by the end of May 2022. The basics stipulated on property portal listings for rented and for-sale properties will need to include price or rent, size of deposit, council tax band or rate and for sales properties, whether it’s leasehold, freehold or commonhold.
A further two phases are being developed which will incorporate further material information, such as utilities available within a property, restrictive covenants, flood risk and other specific factors that may impact certain properties (for example non-standard features or location that could influence a transaction decision).
The initiative is part of National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agent Team (NTSELAT)’s attempts to make renting and buying property more transparent and fairer for buyers and tenants, and earlier this month was rolled into the Government’s ‘levelling-up’ White Paper announcement.
The objective is to provide consumers with more information prior to viewing a property. For consumers, a better understanding of why certain information such as a property’s tenure is important will enable them to make informed decisions when they embark on a property search. Vendors and agents may find that bringing conveyancers on board at the outset helps make sure all information is available for marketing, and issues with things like restrictive covenants or boundaries can be addressed earlier.
Sean Hooker (video) Head of Redress at The Property Redress Scheme, said: “This is great news for the consumer and will lead to a much more transparent and consistent way of introducing properties to the market.
“It will also give clarity and assurance to agents that they are doing the right thing, will set the ground rules on what is expected and avoid the consequences of not providing a good level of information. Fewer complaints, faster transactions, happier customers, what is not to like?”
A full list of the Part A material information is available on the National Trading Standards website. This also gives an overview of the type of information that will be included in Parts B and C.
Full guidance for the industry is being developed in conjunction with industry partners to cover all three phases, as well as guidance to support consumers looking to buy, sell or rent a property.
Read LandlordZONE’s article for further information on NTSELAT’s much anticipated initiative.
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Property Redress Scheme is approved by Government under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015