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New official guidance to help agents meet CPRs and BPRs

A new trading standards Guidance on Property Sales has been launched aimed at improving estate agency service to customers. 

The Powys-based National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team says the guidance - here - is intended to help property sales businesses to comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs). 

This document now replaces the Office of Fair Trading’s Guidance on Property Sales which was issued in September 2012.

“The regulations have broad coverage but the way they impact on property sales businesses will depend on the particular services you offer. This guidance is intended to help property sales businesses comply with the regulations” explains James Munro, team leader for the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team. 

“If you treat your consumers, business customers and competitors fairly, then you are unlikely to breach the regulations. However, if you treat them unfairly, you may face criminal and/or civil enforcement action” he says.

Enquiries about the guidance should be emailed to estate.agency@powys.gov.uk

The NTSEAT has also announced that it has approved two of the UK’s redress schemes for the sales sector. 

The Property Ombudsman and Ombudsman Services Ltd are now both approved to offer alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to consumers and estate agents where there is a dispute in relation to the buying or selling of residential property.

From October, new regulations will require estate agency businesses to advise the consumer of an ADR body relevant to their sector and the nature of the specific complaint, once they fail to resolve a dispute through their own customer service efforts.

“ADR offers the parties an easier, quicker and more cost effective mechanism to resolve complaints when compared to the court process. It is generally accepted that consumers are more willing to use ADR than to use the court process, and that ADR is much better at maintaining, or recovering, a positive relationship between the consumer and trader” says James Munro.

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