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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Property portals gear up for material info changes

Property portals are preparing to support agents in complying with a new era of upfront material information.

From the end of May, agents will be required to display a properties council tax band or rate and price and tenure on listings.

Firms have until the end of this month to comply with the new rules, known as Part A information, that are being introduced as part of an overhaul by The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team.

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The following two phases are to be introduced later and will require agents to make more material information available to consumers such as restrictive covenants and planned developments.

The main portals have started revamping their back offices to help agents comply with the rules and have revealed what users can expect to Estate Agent Today.

Jason Tebb, chief executive of OnTheMarket (OTM), said the portal will be making changes to its systems throughout May to offer the ability to receive and display the additional information in time for the target date at the end of the month.

He said OTM’s systems have already accepted some of the Part A material information recommendations and it is now adding functionality for the rest.

This incudes updating the OnTheMarket Expert Property Editor to support the new information.

The platform is also adapting its feeds to accept the new information in line with standard specifications to make the implementation easier for CRM providers, data feed providers, and agents.

The information will begin being displayed on the property details page through May when provided, Tebb said.

He told Estate Agent Today: "We are supportive of any innovations which help both our estate agent customers and our home buying consumers. 

“We are already working on ways to enhance the properties on our site with more material information and we share the view that more transparency throughout a property transaction could lead to a smoother process for estate agents, buyers and sellers."

A Zoopla spokesperson, added:  "We've been working closely with the industry steering group to ensure we're ready to meet the start of new requirements from May onwards. 

“Part A information can be passed through to Zoopla listings and displayed on listings. 

“There will be further enhancements to how this data is communicated and displayed over the coming months, bolstered by more transparency around this type of information in the wider industry."

A Rightmove spokesperson added that it will be sharing more information with agents next week on how it can help them comply.

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