With support from Propertymark and other industry leaders —The Lettings Industry Council, The Property Ombudsman, The Property Redress Scheme, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, The UK Association of Letting Agents, — OnTheMarket, PropertyPal, Rightmove and Zoopla — NTSELAT has kicked off its three-phase project which has been developed in response to defining what constitutes material information for property listings.
Part A of the initiative, announced 21 February 2022, requires information that, regardless of the outcome, is always considered material for all properties regardless of location. This is information that involves unavoidable costs that will be incurred by the occupier, regardless of how the property is to be used.
As a result, new data fields are to be incorporated on portals over the coming weeks meaning that information such as property tenure, property price and council tax information will be flagged when left empty by an agent.
Under current legislation, as set out in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, estate and letting agents are legally obliged not to omit material information from consumers on property listings, however current disclosure practices are not consistent across the industry.
The initiative means that consumers will be more knowledgeable about potential properties they have expressed interest in, helping to make selling and buying processes easier and reduce fall-through rates.
Following Part A, rules incorporated by NTSELAT will progress to:
- Part B: Information that must be established for all properties. It applies mainly to utilities (and similar), where non-standard features would affect someone’s decision to look any further at that property.
- Part C: Additional material information that may or may not need to be established, depending on whether the property is affected or impacted by the information. Applies to properties affected by the issue itself because of, for example, the location of the property.
NTSELAT wants all material information to be mandatory once all three phases of the project have been completed and there is the possibility that the rules may become legislation after the initiative was mentioned in the recent Levelling Up White Paper.
Sales Protocol Toolkit
Focusing on improving the sales experience on all sides, Propertymark members can access the Sales Protocol Toolkit, a free resource that can help to speed up transactions, reduce the fall-though rate and ensure compliance with CPRs through reducing duplication of information.
Estate agents who are using the toolkit have reported a reduction in transaction times, down to seven weeks in some cases.
The toolkit offers huge potential to speed up transactions, reduce fall-through rates and comply with Consumer Protection Regulations.