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Portal listings without material information ‘will eventually be rejected’

Trading Standards has indicated that non-compliant listings will eventually be rejected from portals as it urges agents to use their “professional judgement” on the material information needed in their different marketing materials.

It comes as the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) published new guidance and a dedicated website on Part A material information for property listings. 

Part A of this three-phase process covers information considered material for all properties, including the property price, the council tax band and tenure information. 


The guidance states that all listings should include material information “including those on your own website, third party websites and printed material” but it recognises there may not always be space.

It said: “For example, a single A4 sized paper advert in a window may contain less detailed information than an online advert or the accompanying printed brochure.

“However, you should consider the priority that you give information to ensure that the material information is included in your communications. 

“Where space is limited, reference may be made to where or how the relevant material information may be found.”

The guidance said all Part A information should be available on the first page of a property listing and said the portals who have been part of the steering group have ensured that this information will be prominently displayed.

It added: “We will not specify the material information which must be included on your marketing literature and you must use your professional judgement accordingly.”

The document also reminds agents that it is a requirement to include energy performance certificates on eligible listings and adds that where an EPC has not been commissioned in accordance with the respective legislation, action can be taken in the form of a financial penalty.

Part B and C requirements will include mentioning issues such as restrictive covenants and information on utilities.

The plan is for these to be introduced over the next year but a note in the guidance suggests agents shouldn’t wait.

The guidance has been developed with industry leaders and the UK’s major property portals, including Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket and PropertyPal.

It said listings can currently be published with missing Part A information, but it is eventually intended that listings without the required minimum information will be prevented from being uploaded onto online portals.

The guidance said: “Further information regarding any such decision will be published as the programme of work develops. 

“Property information questionnaires can be used to request the details you need to list the property. 

“You should review the current forms that you use and amend these, where required, to ensure that material information is being obtained prior to the property being listed. In the case of a sales listing, the seller may wish to engage with their conveyancing lawyer at an early stage. This is to ensure information regarding the property can be reviewed and any issues can be resolved.”

Commenting on the guidance, Nathan Emerson, chief executive of agency trade body Propertymark, said: “There has been much debate around some elements of the updated rules, but now the first set has come into force and the guidance is clear in its expectation it’s important they are adhered to.

"Our advice to agents is to carry out a full review of all their existing listings to ensure they are compliant.

"We will be supporting Propertymark members to ensure listings in their branch windows, online or elsewhere are meeting all current legal requirements.”

  • Richard Copus

    What has not been ascertained is if all this information is required by sellers selling privately. A layman can't hope to be able to comply with all of this and it is not unlawful or illegal to sell a property oneself. Does this make private sales effectively redundant, or will NTSELAT simply turn a blind eye to private sales?


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