Trading Standards warns against using disclaimer for virtual viewings

Trading Standards has warned agents against using disclaimers to absolve themselves of responsibility for the content of virtual viewings.

It comes as EYE revealed that Purplebricks has been putting a disclaimer on listings stating it was not liable for errors in the information provided through virtual viewings if a buyer makes a purchase solely based on a video tour.

This appears to be against guidance from The Property Ombudsman which said the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations still apply to virtual viewings.

The agent said it was complying with consumer rules and is now removing these disclaimers.

The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has now waded into the debate.

Alison Farrar, operations manager for NTSELAT, said:

“It is the responsibility of the agent to verify any information provided by the vendor, as outlined in the Consumer Rights Act.

“This includes information provided virtually.

“Blanket disclaimers do not absolve an agent of responsibility for information provided by the vendor of a property.

“Where information is provided virtually, this should be disclosed prominently along with advice that potential buyers should make further checks.”

Purplebricks backtracks as EYE questions disclaimer exempting agent from liability for virtual viewings

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5 Comments

  1. PeeBee

    I will take the opportunity of reposting a slightly amended version of what I have added to yesterday’s article thread.
     
    In yesterday’s article it was reported that PB were “in the process of removing these disclaimers”.
     
    Well – more than 24 hours later – here, in descending order, are the three most recent listings** on Zoopla as at 0800 today.
     
    zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/55361927
     
    zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/55361921
     
    zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/55361868
     
    ALL of which still contain the “Disclaimer For Virtual Viewings” in the listing advert.
     
    And of course it’s not just the last three.  It’s ALL of them.
     
    I tested thirty yesterday and the same number today.  EVERY ONE carries the disclaimer.
     
    ** The three properties above are actually three of four “Most recent” listings in order.  The third on the list –
     
    zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/54605276
     
    is actually a #RElisting – first listed by PB in March – so I guess you’ll have to work on the basis that this is one they are “in the process of…”

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  2. Gloslet

    ‘I tested thirty yesterday and the same number today’

    Was it a slow day in your business yesterday PeeBee?

    (meant tongue in cheek)

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    1. PeeBee

      “My business” as you refer to it is differentiating good Agents from bad.  Exposing what’s wrong with our industry.

      It was therefore a very busy day, Gloslet.  As they all are.

      (no tongue in cheek whatsoever)

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  3. Woodentop

    LetItGo please take not and this is basic estate agency.

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    1. LetItGo

      Wooden top, would be interested in your comment if you care to repost.

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