Rightmove will no longer accept property listing that that do not have a specific price, as the property portal, in order to meet new material information rules from the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT).
Agents can no longer include ‘price on application’ and ‘offers invited’ as part of their property listings and must have prices attached.
Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket have all introduced new data fields to include information on tenure and council tax bands on new listings.
The rule change is “a significant first step to defining what constitutes basic material information”, according to James Munro, head of the NTSELAT. He also sees it as a “major milestone on the road to mandatory disclosure of all basic material information, including factors that are specific – but significant – to individual properties”.
A property’s council tax band or rate and the property price and tenure information – for sales – should also now be included on all property listings – these data fields started to appear on portals earlier this year.
These changes represent the first phase of a project by the NTSELAT in partnership with industry leaders and the UK’s major property portals, to define what constitutes material information for property listings.
Developed in response to estate and letting agents’ requests for clarity on what information should be disclosed as standard when marketing a property, Part A of this three-phase project includes information that is considered material for all properties. A further two phases are being developed, which will incorporate further material information such as restrictive covenants, flood risk and other specific factors that may impact certain properties.
If the new data fields for tenure, price and council tax are left empty by an agent, this will be flagged by the portal on the listing so consumers can see what information is missing.
NTSELAT wants all material information to be mandatory on property listings once all three phases of the project are complete. At that stage, it is just guidance.
Evidence shows overwhelming support amongst agents for the mandatory disclosure of material information, with benefits cited including a reduction in unnecessary enquiries, swifter sales and fewer transaction fall-throughs.
Last year, National Trading Standards and its industry partners surveyed more than 300 agents and found that 91% agreed that a defined list of basic material information would help improve clarity for the industry; 93% supported the mandatory disclosure of information relating to property tenure; 88% agreed that leasehold details should be disclosed.
David Cox, Rightmove’s Legal and Compliance Director, said recently: “It’s been really encouraging to see that more than 80% of all property listings on Rightmove now include the tenure of a property; up from 70% last year before we started to encourage more agents to add this information to help with National Trading Standard’s initiative. We hope that having an industry-agreed official list of material information will better help agents know exactly all the info they need to add when they’re advertising properties.”