Estate and letting agents will soon be asked to publish more detailed property listings – and could eventually be legally required to do so.
The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team is increasing the material information disclosure requirements that agents are asked to follow when advertising properties for sale or rent, and teaming up with online portals to help them comply.
From the end of May, both sales and lettings listings on the major platforms will prompt agents to include the council tax band or rate of the property. Sales listings will also need to give the property’s price and its tenure, including the length of lease if relevant.
The new requirements are just the first phase of a three-stage project. Trading Standards officials are currently consulting with the industry to decide which other information should be included in the next two. Potential requirements include restrictive covenants (for sales listings) and flooding risk. Once all three phases have been finalised, NTSELAT plans to make disclosure mandatory.
Industry figures welcomed the news, saying that it promotes transparency – and noted that most agents are already voluntarily providing the information that NTSELAT wants. The government, which called for stricter material information requirements in its recent Levelling Up White Paper, may also follow up the guidance with legislation.
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