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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Past its sell by date? Three-year-old property listing banned by ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint made against a listing on property website Houser.co.uk.

In January, the complainant notified the watchdog that the listing for a detached house in Romsey - signposted as 'available' - related to when the property was on the market back in 2016.

The listing for the Hampshire property showed various photographs and had a sale price of £1,050,000. The complainant challenged that as the property was on the market three years ago, the listing could be deemed misleading.

The ASA received no response to its enquiries made to Houser and notes that there is no registered legal entity behind the website. 

Fasthosts Internet Ltd, which provides a web hosting service for Houser, agreed to forward the authority's correspondence on to the website. 

The ASA said it was 'concerned' with Houser's lack of response and 'disregard' for its code of practice. 

It ruled that the ad breached the misleading advertising code as well as the code for unreasonable delay relating to Houser's lack of response. 

"The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Houser.co.uk to ensure that information they published about property, for example its availability, price, photographs and other information, were accurate in future. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team," says a spokesperson for the ASA.

There was a similar ruling made by the ASA against Houser in 2017

The property website caused a stir in the industry upon launching in 2014 when it became apparent that it could automatically 'scrape' listings from agents' websites.

Several agents ordered Houser to remove their listings as they infringed OnTheMarket's 'one other portal only' rule. 

Houser then went on to take control of Needaproperty.com and opened an overseas property website. It appears, however, to have been inactive in the UK for a number of years now.

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