Agent who advertised ‘Help to Buy’ homes as cheaper reported to watchdog

An agent who quoted both a higher and a lower price for a home that could be bought with Help to Buy has agreed to change its advert.

Luscombe May said it accepted that the lower price suggested a reduction for people buying with Help to Buy.

The agent had advertised a development of new homes in Totnes, Devon.

Text stated “from £345,000 or £276,000 with Help to Buy”.

A complainant to the Advertising Standards Authority considered the advert did not make it clear that the lower price involved a loan from the Government that would need to be repaid, and challenged whether the advert was misleading.

Luscombe May gave its assurance that it had reviewed the advertising in light of the complaint and the requirements of the CAP Code.

On the basis that future adverts would be changed, the ASA agreed to resolve the complaint informally.

Future adverts would not suggest that the purchase price of a property was reduced for people buying under Help to Buy; they would include information that explained that Help to Buy involved a loan from the Government that needed to be repaid; and that there were eligibility requirements for it together with any other information required by Homes England.

A second complaint about an agent has also been informally resolved.

A challenger was unhappy with a claim made by online letting agent Upad, and queried whether ‘UPay on Success’ was misleading as it did not make it clear that a charge is due if an advert is taking down without a tenant being found by the agent.

The advertiser has agreed to amend the webpage.

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