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 ‘Price on application’ in property listings deemed unlawful

The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has deemed that the use of POA or “price on application” on listings is unlawful.

The industry regulator has today published an opinion, developed with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), that the phrase contravenes consumer protection legislation.  

NTSELAT was asked by industry to provide a view on the use of POA as part of the ongoing process to improve the disclosure of material information on property listings.  


It has now revealed its opinion that the use of ‘POA’ or ‘price on application’ in relation to a listing on a property portal or an agent website is likely to be misleading as it withholds – or in some cases masks – the asking price from consumers. 

It said a property’s price is information which the average consumer needs in order to make an informed transactional decision, such as to make enquiries about the property, conduct further research or arrange a viewing. 

James Munro, senior manager of the NTS Estate and Letting Agency Team, said: “I am pleased to be able to set out a clear position that the use of ‘POA’ or ‘price on application’ in property listings is unlawful. We have considered this issue carefully and I am grateful to colleagues, the CMA and legal experts for their input. 

“We hope this clarity will be helpful for property portals and agents as they prepare their listings going forward. This position will now form part of our general industry advice and guidance.” 

  • Algarve  Investor

    Seems fair enough. Unless I'm missing something?

  • Richard Copus

    Good! Nothing more annoying when you are looking for a house to buy and have a budget to work with. Usually when you phone the agent up you are met with a vague statement of what the owners want which is not a lot of help either.

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    So is it misleading if offers go beyond an asking price, the price that encouraged an applicant to view? We should all be worried about the implementation of part B and C. Estate Agents having to interpret Title and restrictive covenants, provide flood risk information and the like. Remember the Sellers Pack anyone!

  • James Hurst

    I've never really understood the point of POA. You drive away anyone who is curious which could include a potential purchaser and will it secure a higher price? With less people looking, I don't see how.


    Agents would manipulate the price to get more enquiries. So for example, list at £1m POA so the property would show in the £1m search bracket but when they phone the agent would say the price is £1.1m

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    Sadly this won’t apply to commercial properties which is a shame.

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    At Countrywide it was used as a price reduction tool that opened up the property to a whole fresh batch of applicants……. The seller would be told that their expected price could still be achieved…. Quite frankly it was a total waste time that benefitted no one other than the regional manager who saw a reduction on a spreadsheet…….

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    As an ex electrician, who ended up up putting pre qualifying systems in place to root out tyre kickers and time wasters, I understand entirely why certain agents do this with certain properties.

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    Who cares! - and who has time to worry about stupid stuff like this? proper 1st world issue. The reality is nobody has lost out except whoever pays for the investigation - the tax payer. Meanwhile over in Eastern Europe real issues ensue. This place gets lamer by the day.


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