Online estate agency Tepilo and over-60s ‘life plan’ property sales service Homewise have been rapped over the knuckles following complaints made to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Firstly, Tepilo: the ASA says it received a complaint about its website failing to make clear that if a seller chose not to use Tepilo’s suggested conveyancer in a sale, he or she would have to pay a higher fee. “
“After we approached the advertiser, Tepilo confirmed that they will make the £360 charge clearer on their website. Considering this, we closed the case informally” says a spokeswoman for the authority.
Secondly, Homewise: this is an operation which advocates older home owners over 60 years of age purchasing their next home at a discount from the market price providing they buy into an unregulated ‘life plan’ - its effect is that the same property may be on sale at different prices to buyers depending on whether they take up the plan.
The ASA received four complaints that challenged the accuracy of a property listing from Homewise on Rightmove.
The authority says the listing showed that the property was priced at a guide price of £138,600. However, in reality this was only offered to people aged over 60 and eligible for Homewise’s Home for Life Plan, but these conditions were not made clear.
“After we approached the advertiser with our concerns, Homewise assured us that similar future property listings will make clear that the headline ‘guide’ prices quoted are only offered to those in their over-60’s Home for Life scheme. Upon receiving their assurance, we considered the case to have been closed informally” says the ASA spokeswoman.
A similar complaint about a different property marketed by Homewise was made to the authority in autumn 2015.