22 Apr 2021

Several high-flying lettings sector bodies say rental properties advertised on portals should carry much more upfront information.

This means landlords who use agents advertising on Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket are likely to be told to provide more detailed information and possibly many more photographs than before; depending on their relationship with the letting agents, some of this burden will fall on landlords themselves. 

The idea for more information has come from the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agents Team, which says current practices from letting agents are patchy and sometimes fall short of requirements under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.Under these regulations the agents “have a legal obligation not to omit material information from consumers on property listings” according to NTSELAT.

A survey of recent renters and buyers, conducted by NTSELAT, found that:

  • 90 per cent of respondents who use portals would prefer to find detailed or key information about a property when they’re searching on a portal;
  • 87 per cent of respondents agree that portals should include all key information about a home in their listing;
  • over half said that they would be less likely to buy or rent where information was missing on the property listing;
  • 40 per cent of respondents assume that missing information means something wrong with the property.

The move for more upfront information is supported by the likes of The Lettings Industry Council,  The Property Ombudsman,  The Property Redress Scheme and The UK Association of Letting Agents, as well as the major portals and Propertymark – the agents’ main trade body. 

Currently further discussions are taking place and there is no deadline for the implementation of new regulations, but NTSELAT says it is drawing up new guidelines for agents – which means landlords may well be expected to provide additional details of properties to prospective tenants in the longer term. 

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