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Agents back material information but seek more guidance

The majority of agents back parts B and C of material information rules but more guidance is needed on where to get it, a survey suggests.

Research by client onboarding and upfront information app the Home Owner’s Passport (HOP), found 83% of agents support the latest Trading Standards reforms.

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.

HOP’s research found that while most agents support the changes, 44% of respondents said they were likely to obtain the information directly from the vendor. 

Whilst this has been a credible option for the limited requirements of Part A, it is likely that Parts B and C will include data such as restrictive covenants and easements, which often vendors don’t know about. 

The next two preferred sources of the data for the agents that responded to the survey were from a conveyancer or direct from an existing CRM provider.

The survey also identified a lack of awareness, with only 50% aware of parts B and C of the material information requirements, while 94% said they would like more training.

Additionally, 72% of estate agents supported contracts packs being available pre-offer and these being attached to a badge such as ‘Contract Ready’ so buyers can readily identify properties where the paperwork is in place and ready to go.

Sally Holdway, director at the HOP and a practising conveyancing solicitor, said: “As we move towards the inclusion of what has traditionally been seen as ‘conveyancing’ data in the new rules, our advice to agents is to obtain this information either directly from lawyers, or from the same sources the lawyers use. 

“The potential sanctions for getting this wrong are significant for agents, so it is important to get it right first time. As we have built our material information Reports in HOP we have been careful to do it to existing conveyancing standards, so agents can trust the results.”

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    This is just going to turn into something similar to an HPI check on cars. But with HPI checks, the onus is on the buyer to do their due diligence. I can see third party companies offering HOP services to agents for a fee. Rightmove will probably charge agents an extra fee for buyers to access HOP's via their app.

    It really isn't difficult for a buyer to spend £6.00 on a title and plan from the Land Registry website. This will provide buyers with most of what they need to know about covenants, easements, rights of way etc.

    I cannot believe that most agents support this. I would like to know how the question in this poll was posed to agents?


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