Comprehensive Guidelines for Property Disclosures and Full Material Information Guidance
R&G Property Bristol proudly announces the release of comprehensive guidelines by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT), covering all phases of the Material Information Programme. This initiative aims to enhance and standardize property disclosures, assisting agents in meeting their legal obligations effectively.
Our Involvement in Shaping Improvements
As a key member of the Material Information Project Steering Group, R&G Property Bristol has played a pivotal role in shaping improvements and advocating for the views, experiences, and interests of our esteemed members throughout the development of these crucial guidelines.
Breaking Down the Material Information Guidelines
Part A (Announced February 2022):
Council tax band or rate
Property price or rent
Tenure information (for sales)
Details of deposit payable (lettings)
Part B (Information to be Established for All Properties):
Physical characteristics of the property, including type and construction
Number and types of rooms, including room measurements
Utilities and how they are supplied
Part C (Information Dependent on Property Issues):
Building safety concerns (e.g., unsafe cladding, asbestos, risk of collapse)
Restrictions (e.g., conservation area, listed building status, tree preservation order)
Rights and easements (e.g., public rights of way, shared drives)
Coastal erosion risk
Planning permission (for the property and its immediate locality)
Accessibility/adaptations (e.g., step-free access, wet room, essential living accommodation on entrance level)
Coalfield or mining area
NTSELAT's Call for Mandatory Material Information
NTSELAT urges all agents to make material information mandatory on property listings now that all three phases of the project are complete. Their research indicates widespread support among agents, affirming their willingness to comply and actively support the sector in understanding and implementing the new guidance.
Legal Obligations and Consumer Protection
Both estate and letting agents bear a legal obligation under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 not to omit material information from consumers. Failure to adhere could result in civil or criminal sanctions. Consumers also have the option to raise complaints with the redress scheme of the agent.
Benefits for Agents: Transparency and Efficiency
Mandatory disclosure of material information offers recognized benefits, including a reduction in unnecessary inquiries, faster sales, and fewer transaction fall-throughs. It also enhances agents' reputation for being open, honest, and trustworthy, thereby increasing consumer confidence in property portals and the wider industry.
Facilitating a Swift Sales Process
At R&G Property Bristol, we collaborate closely with Trading Standards to provide our members with access to the best and most up-to-date guidance, ensuring they can confidently carry out their day-to-day roles compliantly. Our Property Information Questionnaires and Sales Protocol Toolkit are essential tools that help agents meet legal obligations, facilitating a smooth transition during this period of change. As part of our commitment to excellence, we continually review and update these documents as necessary to keep our members well-equipped for success.