Consumer Protection Regulations

The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team of Powys County Council—in its role as the UK’s lead enforcement authority for the Estate Agents Act 1979—has updated its guidance to help property sales businesses comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs) when carrying out activities in the UK. This guidance updates and replaces OFT guidance on property sales: compliance with the CPRs and BPRs.

Powys' guidance

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive

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'NAEA Propertymark supports the move towards the guidance being presented in a way that consumers will find easier to understand. However, we believe that it should go further in including specific examples which will help agents to understand what they should and should not say when dealing with consumers.

'Working examples could include the need for agents to tell an individual or couple looking to buy a house for retirement that there is a school nearby with increased noise and traffic levels at certain times; a self-employed consumer looking to purchase a property should be made aware of any parking restrictions surrounding commercial vehicles.

'By including detailed instances relevant to the buying and selling process we believe that the guidance would be more descriptive and allow agents to clearly understand what they can and cannot do'.

Increasing the transparency of referral fees

On 28 February 2019, the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) published new guidance on referral fees received by estate agents across the UK. Their aim is to make previously hidden fees open and transparent to consumers. Within the guidelines, agents now need to disclose in writing at the earliest opportunity:

  • the price of its services, including any 'compulsory' extras
  • where a referral arrangement exists, that it exists, and with whom
  • where a transaction-specific referral fee is to be paid, its amount
  • where a referral retainer exists, an estimate of the annual value of that retainer to the estate agent or its value per transaction
  • where the referral is rewarded other than by payment, an assessment of the annual value of the reward or the value of the reward per transaction

The NTSEAT guidance was produced with assistance from NAEA Propertymark, The Property Ombudsman, PRS, Guild of Property Professionals and RICS. If the industry does not take this guidance seriously and transparency is not achieved, referral fees could be banned when this guidance is reviewed.

NTSEAT guidance

Property Information Questionnaires (PIQs)

Our PIQs will help you comply with the CPRs. The forms are a general guide and there may be other questions that only apply in your area, such as the London underground or presence of mining etc. Propertymark members are currently trialing a new pilot form, which will be made available on this page once finalised.

Tutor and student

CPR TRAINING COURSE

This course looks at the law from both a sales and lettings perspective, advising on the right procedures to have in place, what is and isn't permissible and the consequences of a breach. More info...

Looking at property listings

REFERRAL FEES

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has expressed the view that unless the sector ensures transparency of referral fees, a complete ban on referral fees will be considered. More info...

NAEA Propertymark Workshop

FREE WORKSHOPS

We host workshops across the country, which are free for members, to ensure that agents stay compliant. Don't miss an opportunity to get your burning questions answered by our specialist speakers. More info...