Trading Standards has insisted it is still on track to introduce parts B and C of material changes rules for property listings this Autumn.
It comes after James Munro, head of the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) said in a Bold Legal Group podcast in September – redistributed this week to boost awareness of the material information rules- that parts B and C can be expected in October.
That deadline appears to have been missed but a Trading Standards spokesperson yesterday told Estate Agent Today: “We’re working closely with property portals – and the industry more widely – to ensure more material information is made available on property listings so that consumers can make informed decisions and agents can meet their legal requirements at the very beginning of the consumer journey.
"This will provide greater clarity and consistency across the industry, saving agents time and money on wasted enquires and legal disputes while protecting consumers from nasty surprises.
“The guidance has been split into three phases - Part A of this process was launched last year and Parts B and C are expected to be published this autumn. These will include material information such as non-standard construction and developments as well as restrictive covenants, flood risk and other specific factors that may impact certain properties.”
Property listings have been required to include material information such as leasehold terms, council tax information and price since June 2022, under Part A of the Trading Standards’ reform.
Part B and C will require agents to include information such as restrictive covenants and utilities on their property marketing.
Munro also said in June that the reforms would be introduced this Autumn.
That does technically give the industry watchdog until the end of December.
Munro said on the podcast: “(Parts B and C) cover things that are either directly relating to the property such as the availably of utilities and then issues that are directly affecting the property such as flood risk and building safety, restrictive covenants and easements.
“We anticipated releasing this in the early Autumn, the steering group are considering the final draft of the guidance, as soon as that has been agreed and signed off, an announcement will be made.
“I would anticipate October time”.
He also gave further insight on the podcast about what material information should mean for agents.
Munro said: “Broadly are looking at information that if somebody as to some point down the line thinks had I known that at the outset I would never have arranged a viewing, even as much as making contact with an agent, that is material information that needs to be disclosed.”
Rob Hailstone, chief executive of the Bold Legal Group network and host of the podcast, told Estate Agent Today: "I think they are continuing to work with the steering committee to get the guidance as accurate and as comprehensive as possible before releasing phases B and C - and it is taking longer than anticipated."
> Listen to the full podcast