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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Upfront information: Portals plan for consumer awareness to police listings

Portals are aiming to boost consumer awareness of new material information rules rather than refusing non-compliant listings.

Agency listings have been required since the start of this month to include “material information” such as the property tenure and council tax band.

James Munro, head of the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT), which introduced the rules, said last week that it would be up to agents and portals to police this, suggesting that platforms such as Rightmove and Zoopla should remove listings that don’t contain the required information.

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Property professionals and agents have been highlighting listings on social media that don’t contain all the required information, but rather than being removed, the portals have told Estate Agent Today that they are focusing on awareness.

A spokesperson for Rightmove said: “Rightmove has contacted all agents to provide them with the new material information guidelines from NTSELAT and the new fields that are being introduced on Rightmove from 1 July to help them comply. 

“If any of the information is not provided on new listings from 1 July, a message will display on the listing telling home-hunters to contact the agent for the missing information.

“We’re also planning to include a direct link on listings that people can click on to access a glossary of terms. 

“This will explain in more detail what each piece of material information means and why it is important. 

“We have strict data quality processes and procedures in place to make sure the information on the hundreds of thousands of Rightmove listings is as accurate as possible, and our dedicated data quality team will be reviewing complaints regarding material information, and any advertisers that are repeatedly in breach of the guidelines and terms and conditions.”

A Zoopla spokesperson said: "We've been working closely with National Trading Standards and our agent partners to ensure we're implementing the Part A requirements and enabling our customers to make this data available on Zoopla listings. 

“The other key element of this workstream is building consumer awareness around what criteria is important when buying a home. 

“This education piece, alongside the monitoring of listings is the next step in our journey to create a more transparent property industry and will also empower consumers to better understand what is important when buying or renting homes. There is further to go to reach full coverage on Part A and we look forward to working closely with the NTS on this."

A spokesperson for OnTheMarket added: "Enabling material information Part A in our real-time api, adding it to our OnThemMarket Expert property editor, and displaying it on the property details screens on web and native applications was only the first step. 

“There are hundreds of CRM and feed providers that will need to make necessary updates to their backend systems and applications to get that data to the portals, meaning the second stage will take much longer to fully implement. 

“OnTheMarket will do our best to support and expedite this process, and make it as easy as possible for the CRM and feed providers as well as our agent customers." 

  • Algarve  Investor

    Hmm, I can see some problems here. I thought listings which weren't compliant wouldn't be allowed on in the first place?

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