Information which is considered essential for all properties (announced February 2022):
- Council tax band or rate
- Property price or rent
- Tenure information (for sales)
- Details of deposit payable (lettings)
NTSELAT has released 19 pages of guidance around Part A of Material Information required for residential property, sales and lettings listings. With the scale of investment involved in property transactions and the unique nature of each property let or sold, NTSELAT’s work around Material Information aims to combat agents who try to manipulate buyer activity.
Information that must be established for all properties:
- Physical characteristics of the property - property type and construction
- Number and types of room – including room measurements
- Utilities – how they are supplied
Information that may or may not need to be established.
These details must be included if the property is affected by the issue:
- Building safety, e.g., unsafe cladding, asbestos, risk of collapse
- Restrictions, e.g. conservation area, listed building status, tree preservation order
- Rights and easements, e.g. public rights of way, shared drives
- Flood risk
- Coastal erosion risk
- Planning permission – for the property itself and its immediate locality
- Accessibility/adaptations, e.g. step-free access, wet room, essential living accommodation on entrance level
- Coalfield or mining area
How the property industry will be monitored?
NTSELAT wants all material information to be mandatory on property listings now all three phases of the project are complete. Their research strongly suggests most agents will want to comply and will actively support the sector to understand and action the new guidance.
Both estate and letting agents already have a legal obligation under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 not to omit material information from consumers, and failing to do this could lead to civil or criminal sanctions. Consumers will also have the option to raise a complaint with the redress scheme of the agent.
How do agents benefit?
Good agents want to do the right thing for consumers and for their businesses. However, current practices around disclosure are not consistent across the industry.
Mandatory disclosure of material information has recognised benefits including a reduction in unnecessary enquiries, swifter sales, and fewer transaction fall-throughs. It also helps agents retain their reputation as being open, honest, and trustworthy, as well as increasing consumer confidence in property portals and the wider industry.
Speeding up the sales process
We work closely with Trading Standards to provide our members with access to the best and most up-to-date guidance so they can feel confident carrying out their day-to-day roles compliantly.
Many members use our Property Information Questionnaires (PIQs) which are vital tools in ensuring agents meet their legal obligations under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. We have also developed the Sales Protocol Toolkit to encourage agents and vendors to work together from the get-go to get the property both market-ready and sale-ready, reducing transaction time and preventing fall-throughs.
The toolkit offers huge potential to speed up transactions, reduce fall-through rates and comply with Consumer Protection Regulations.
Free Webinar | 18 Jan 2024
Understanding Material Information for Sales and Letting Agents
Emma Cooke, NTSELAT & Timothy Douglas, Propertymark
NTSELATs Policy and Information Manager Emma Cooke explains the new requirements on sales and letting agents on the process to improve material information disclosure in property listings.