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The Scottish Government has responded to concerns raised by Propertymark on behalf of its members, following reports that some Scottish agents had been denied access to business support schemes when local authorities declared the grant is not available to their sector. Read More...

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Greater flexibility built into Job Retention Scheme

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Electrical safety guidance – England

01 June 2020

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Agents to ensure ‘newly listed’ properties fall within guidance

Thursday 21 May 2020

As agents in England are now able to conduct viewings, descriptions such as ‘recently added’ or ‘new instruction’ prior to lockdown will no longer be valid for properties that have been re-listed, or because the market was suspended.

The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSEALT) is reiterating its message on re-listing properties and it is a legal requirement that the status of a property listing is accurately described and updated in a timely manner, as this is material information for prospective purchasers.

NTSEALT has published guidance on terms used by estate and letting agents in their property advertisements and listings:

‘New on the market’ – a property that has not been marketed in (at least) the last six months; the description should only be used for a short period of time. This term should not be used if the property has been previously offered for sale or let by another agent and remained unsold in the last six months. ‘Refreshing’ a listing to make a property appear new on the market is misleading, especially where there has been no significant marketing break.

‘New instruction’ – a property that an agent has recently been instructed to sell or let (and which may have been offered by another agent without being sold or let); the description should again only be used for a short period of time.

‘New listing’ (on a property portal) – a property that has recently been listed on that portal; commonly used in conjunction with ‘New on the market’ or ‘New instruction’ – the description should only be used for a short period of time.

‘Recently added/Just added’ (on a property portal) – a property which has recently been listed on that portal; commonly used in conjunction with ‘New on the market’ or ‘New instruction’- the description should again only be used for a short period of time.

‘New and Exclusive’ – either a new instruction or new on the market which is exclusive to that agent or portal (depending on the context). The description ‘new’ should only be used for a short period of time, although the term ‘exclusive’ can be used for as long as it is applicable.

Quote mark

We appreciate that agents will have had instances where properties were temporarily removed during the lockdown. However, this should not be used as an opportunity to mislead consumers.

Point 7n of the Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents applies, which states that agents must not manipulate internet portals (and other channels of marketing) to give the impression a property is new to the market when it is not.

Katrine Sporle, The Property Ombudsman

PROPERTYMARK RESOURCES

To help members comply with their legal obligations under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) Propertymark has produced a Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) that helps in finding out information on the property you are marketing from the landlord. Members can login to the members' area to download this template.

PIQ

To further market and evolve your agency during the pandemic, Propertymark has produced multiple resources for members which can be found by logging into the members' area of the ARLA Propertymark website.

Resources

Agents can also read Propertymark’s Post Pandemic Plan articles which support agents with their preparations to emerge from the Coronavirus lockdown and prepare them to maximise market potential, add value and underpin their business.

For non-members, the articles can be found on the news section of the ARLA Propertymark website, or for members they can be found by logging into the members' area below which lists all of the guidance available.

Post Pandemic Plan guidance