As of May 2022 Letting Agents must now comply with changes made by the National Trading Standards regarding the “Material Information” that must be included in a property listing.
MATERIAL INFORMATION is all the things that tenants might need to know to help them make an informed decision about a property. This covers many details, such as rent price, number of bedrooms, or even broadband speed.
THE NEW RULES for “Material Information” will be introduced in three stages:
PART A is currently the only one in force and covers information that affects the “unavoidable costs” that the tenant will pay once they occupy a property. This is essentially the council tax band, rent, and any deposit due.
PART B will cover information “established for all properties”. For example, details about non-standard utilities which may affect the tenant’s decision to rent.
Part C will cover additional information that may not be applicable for all properties but should be included if it is relevant. For example, if a property is at risk of flooding due to its location.
The National Trading Standards aims to create a system ensuring that agents can’t list a property through a portal unless such details are added but it won’t be mandatory until all of the above three parts are in force.
This law is also applicable for advertised properties on lettings agency websites.
Further measures may follow if the government believes it’s necessary to ensure compliance. However, changes to the listings portal websites will soon mean that “compliance will be the default”, as agents will be prompted to make the required changes.
This change has come about due to inconsistency in the practices around disclosure across the industry as a whole.
At Horizon Lets we are committed to transparency and have always provided this “Material Information” contained in Part A. We welcome any move towards helping prospective tenants make more informed decisions that should mean that a suitable found easier and therefore tenants remained in their homes, which is good news all round!
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