Property industry unites to help agents meet legal requirements

To support agents across the industry and help them meet the legal requirements, the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team is working with property portals and industry groups to help improve how material information is provided on property listings. 

David Cox

This work is being developed in conjunction with OnTheMarket, Propertymark (NAEA/ARLA), PropertyPal, Rightmove, The Lettings Industry Council, The Property Ombudsman, The Property Redress Scheme, RICS, The UK Association of Letting Agents, and Zoopla.

Rightmove’s legal and compliance director David Cox said: “The information that agents need to find out before marketing a property varies so much depending on the type of home, and so we support the drive to provide clear industry-wide guidance on basic material information.

“Unlike price and number of bedrooms which is already available on all listings, there are some features that aren’t displayed in every case, such as tenure, and so we’d like to hear from agents about what challenges they face in collecting this type of information.

“Once a list is finalised we can help by explaining to prospective sellers and landlords what information they should already be starting to gather when they are thinking of coming to market, and help buyers and tenants understand what’s in the list and why.”

Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the Property Redress Scheme, commented: “It is essential for property agents to understand their obligations in terms of disclosure so this is why this guidance is so vital.

“The shop window for most agents are now the portals so they are the perfect place for consumer to gather the facts they need to help them make their decision about what is such an important matter – the roof over their head.

Sean Hooker

“The survey is your chance to help shape what will need to be part of this information pack available at the fingertips of your customers.”

Errol Maxwell, managing director at PropertyPal, said: “At PropertyPal, our aim is to make the home moving journey as easy, informative and enjoyable as possible and exposing material information from the outset helps us achieve this. Not only does it provide greater transparency but it’s ultimately time-saving for everyone involved.

“Consumers will be able to find properties that completely suit their needs and estate agents will be aligned with stronger leads. At a time when the vast majority of property transactions begin online, this initiative could not be more important.”

Richard Price, Director of the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA), commented: “UKALA’s mission is to support letting agents to succeed by improving standards and to promote best practice in the Private Rental Sector and we work closely with a number of bodies, such as National Trading Standards, to do this.

“We are keen to be involved in initiatives like this that enable UKALA members to operate on a level playing field.”


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  1. JordanBrooks88

    Were David Cox and Sean Hooker separated at birth?

  2. Robert_May

    Another small victory for good people who did not do nothing.

    From January 2020

  3. JamesH79

    Has anyone else noticed how often we are being critisised & cajoled by the people we spend an absolute fortune with?

    Time and time again those who can’t or rather who haven’t done a viewing, let alone sold or rented a home in years sit in their ivory towers thinking up new and innovative ways of adding more red tape to our already compliance ridden existence.
    This red tape is then miraculously and rather conveniently “solved” buy a new bit of “proptech” which can “save us time” and “only costs” £500 a month or some other such garbage.  The products are then “sold” using fear… fear that you might not be compliant, fear that you might get a fine, fear that someone somewhere is coming for you if you don’t do this, that or the other. 
    The same people (we pay a fortune to each month / year) then delight in releasing into the public domain questionable “data” about how “untrustworthy” our industry is, how we rank below bankers or politicians or second hand car salesmen etc etc. Data which incidentally takes absolutely no account of market size but simply measures one year against another regardless of membership growth or transaction volumes, because if they did the narrative that we’re all a load of sharks wouldn’t stack up.
    They did it with HIP’s, they did it with AML, they did it with GDPR, they’re trying to do it with RoPA and now they’re going to do it with this. Meanwhile our representative bodies are all in on it to “help their members” “level the playing field” and make a bob or two via referrals in the meantime. 
    Its a complete con and its about time it stopped.
    Any agent worth their salt will disclose the material facts they have when the property goes to market, knowing that if they withhold anything it will certainly come up in the conveyancing process anyway and if the buyer has been misled or didn’t know about whatever it is the agent has apparently withheld, the deal will fall out and they’ll have wasted their time and damaged their reputation.

    1. Burn red tape

       Well said James, wise words indeed about the unemployable preaching to the employable.

      If red tape increases any more we will be spending our days dealing with red tape and not our Clients or Applicants.

      To be fair most of these people are highly qualified, having moved twice convincing themselves they can do better, although never ever do.

  4. Woodentop

    Reverse roll of ‘buyer beware’ that went out the window with CPR. Some of the material facts are difficult to argue about and if your doing your job right, isn’t that big a deal. However this is how a rolling stone starts to gather pace and one wonders how big it will grow and become a bureaucratic nightmare if it gets out of control. Some agents will struggle, as they do not have the training …. oh I foresee licensing standards will be next.

    1. Burn red tape

      Well said Woodentop, My training in both estate agency and agency law was from shadowing both a Partner and Manager, not by an inexperienced trainer with a Nobo board. My company was taken over by a corporate who trained new negotiators by sessions of six Wednesday afternoons, after which they were released on the Public as trained negotiators!! In my long career like many of my maturity we can mark the day standards in Estate Agency declined – The day well meaning Maggy Thatcher and her crew permitted Insurance Companies, Banks, Building Societies and others run and own Estate Agencies. When Prudential sold their chain it was rumoured they were lsoing £1m a week!! We now say if there is a problem, it has been caused by a well meaning Politician whose totally incompetent Civil service  has drawn hopeless legislation having the reverse effect, causing yet another problem.


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