Trading Standards advises agents: Prioritise material information and act promptly!

Table of Contents

Save thousands with our 95% success rate
compared to a 39.8%* failure rate nationally.

* according to OnTheMarket data (OTM is one of the top 3 UK property portals alongside Rightmove and Zoopla)

Trading Standards has told estate agents to put key information first and share it quickly. If agents don’t follow these rules, they could face tough penalties. These include no cap on fines, a possible lifetime ban, and even up to 2 years in jail. Since the Misdescription Act was scrapped, the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) came in. These rules make it clear that agents must dig up and share all important details before they list a home. To help, Trading Standards has made a detailed 35-page guide. It spells out what agents need to do about sharing key information.

Key Takeaways:

  • Trading Standards advises estate agents to prioritise material information
  • Prompt disclosure of material information is crucial to comply with legal requirements
  • Failing to disclose material information can result in severe penalties for estate agents
  • The government has introduced the CPRs to protect consumers and ensure fair trading
  • Agents should refer to the comprehensive guide published by Trading Standards to understand their obligations


The Importance of Material Information

Material information is key to protecting consumers and ensuring fairness. It’s information that an average buyer needs to know before making a purchase. Governments have made rules for estate agents. They must share all important information before listing a property. This helps buyers know what they’re getting into, making the housing market more transparent and fair.

If agents don’t share material information, it can hurt buyers financially. Buyers might end up with properties that don’t meet their needs or have hidden problems. This leads to big losses and stress. Estate agents also risk getting fined and damaging their reputation if they don’t disclose this information.

“Material information is the foundation of a transparent and fair estate market. By proactively disclosing all relevant details, estate agents ensure that buyers can make informed decisions, minimising the risk of unfair disadvantages.”

It’s crucial for agents to share complete material information. This supports consumer protection laws. By giving buyers all the details, agents help them pick homes that fit their needs and likes. This builds trust and makes buying a home a better experience for everyone.

The Impact of Material Information on Buyers

Knowing all about a property lets buyers make smart choices. They avoid bad surprises and regrets. Agents giving full details help buyers:

  • Check if a property suits their needs and wants
  • Understand any risks or problems with the property
  • Compare different properties fairly and make the best choice
  • Plan their budget for buying the property

Sharing material information means buyers can pick confidently, reducing the chances of trouble or financial loss.

Category Examples
Property Condition Structural issues, damp problems, presence of asbestos
Legal Concerns Boundary disputes, planning permission restrictions, leasehold details
Environmental Factors Flood zone classification, proximity to noisy or high-pollution areas
Neighbourhood Information Crime rates, nearby amenities, school catchment areas

The table shows the kinds of material information agents need to share with buyers. This info helps buyers decide and be happy with their choice.


Penalties for Non-Compliance

Trading Standards is very strict with estate agents who ignore the rules about sharing important information. Agents could face huge fines or even a lifetime ban. They might also end up in prison for up to 2 years. This shows how serious the government is about sharing key details. Agents need to understand how important this is.

If estate agents don’t follow the rules about important information, the penalties are big. Trading Standards can fine them without limit. This massive fine could really hurt their business.

On top of fines, agents might never be allowed to work in this field again. Getting banned for life would ruin their careers. This could destroy their reputation and future chances.

Agents could also go to jail for up to 2 years if they don’t share needed information. This shows the government means business. Agents must share all important details promptly to avoid jail time.

In simple terms, agents have to take this seriously. They must share all important information to avoid harsh penalties. The risks of not doing so are too great. They should always make sure to share needed information quickly.

It’s all about protecting the buyer and keeping trust in the property market. By doing their part, estate agents keep the industry honest. This makes the buying and selling process fair for everyone.

Customer Review:

“We were delighted with AVRillo, who totally exceeded our expectations. Everything was set up so we could follow the steps, and help was provided if we got stuck with the technical side. We really appreciated being able to book a five-minute slot to speak to them if necessary. They worked very quickly and efficiently, even reminding us if there were outstanding steps we needed to take.” – Jan, satisfied AVRillo customer.

Clarification on Difficulties and Portal Readiness

Trading Standards has given clear advice to estate agents about publishing information. They cannot use the excuse of portal issues for not sharing vital details. Even if portals can’t auto-upload, agents must still put all necessary info manually. This makes sure buyers get what they need without delay.

Agents must tackle any problems that come up and make sure they follow their duties. Even though new rules might be hard at first, it’s important for agents to keep up. They must give buyers all the details they need, no matter what.

portal readiness

Key Guidelines from Trading Standards

Trading Standards offers clear guidelines for agents. They help with questions and ensure agents know how to disclose information correctly. This guide helps agents follow the law and make the property market more open.

The Role of Manual Uploads

If automatic uploads aren’t possible, doing it manually is key for sharing info with buyers. Agents who manually upload data make sure buyers have all they need. This stops any delays and keeps buyers informed despite portal issues.

Adapting to the Changing Landscape

Agents must adjust to changes and overcome portal issues. By doing manual uploads, they follow the rules and build trust with buyers. Even though manual work might be temporary, it shows agents care about being fair and clear.

Challenges Solutions
Portal limitations Manual upload of material information
Technical obstacles Addressing challenges promptly and seeking assistance when necessary
Added workload Efficiently allocating resources and streamlining processes

By focusing on manual uploads and solving portal issues, estate agents make sure buyers don’t wait for info. While automation might be the future goal, right now, agents need to stick to their duties. They need to share info on time.


Consequences of Non-Disclosure

Not sharing important information can really hurt estate agents. They might get penalties from Trading Standards or face lawsuits. They could also be kicked out of their redress scheme forever. Not following the law can harm an agent’s good name and lead to serious actions like warnings, bans, and even lifetime exclusions.

Legal Action and Enforcement Measures

Agents who don’t share crucial information could end up in legal trouble. Firstly, they need to know and follow legal rules to avoid problems. Secondly, they might have to pay fines, hurt their reputation, or get expelled from professional groups. Furthermore, they could also get warnings, face prohibition orders, or lifetime bans.

Redress Scheme Expulsion

An agent not disclosing information breaks the law and professional standards. The redress scheme is key to keeping high ethical standards in the property industry. When a complaint against an agent is proven, they can be banned from the scheme. This means they can’t work as an estate agent anymore. It can really damage an agent’s career and reputation.

Reputation and Trust

When agents don’t share important information, it hurts trust. Agents should always act in their client’s best interests and be transparent. Not being open can damage their reputation and make them lose trust. To keep a good reputation and trust, agents must share all key information.

Consequences Details
Legal Action Financial penalties, damage to reputation, potential expulsion from professional bodies
Enforcement Measures Warnings, prohibition orders, potential lifetime bans
Redress Scheme Expulsion Banned from the redress scheme, impacting the ability to operate as an estate agent
Reputation and Trust Damage to reputation, loss of trust from buyers and industry peers


Guidance Document from Trading Standards

Trading Standards issued a detailed guidance document spanning 35 pages. It helps estate agents understand their duties about material information and compliance. The document responds to more than 82 questions on sharing material information on websites and property platforms.

Estate agents should carefully study and follow the guidance document. They must share all material information needed for consumers to make informed choices. This approach helps agents meet compliance standards, reducing the risk of legal issues due to non-disclosure.

The document delves into various topics on material information sharing. It discusses property conditions, planning permissions, and environmental factors. Clear instructions on what to publish and the urgency of meeting these guidelines are offered.

Key Topics Covered in the Guidance Document:

  1. Property condition and structural issues
  2. History of subsidence or flooding
  3. Environmental concerns, including contamination or noise pollution
  4. Planning permissions and restrictions
  5. Legal obligations, such as ongoing disputes or restrictions on property use
  6. Energy efficiency ratings and utility costs
  7. Local amenities and transportation links
  8. Leasehold information, including ground rent and service charges
  9. Any other relevant details that might impact a buyer’s decision-making

“The guidance document provides estate agents with a comprehensive framework for material information disclosure. By understanding and adhering to these guidelines, agents can ensure compliance and prioritise the interests of consumers.”

Adhering to the Trading Standards guidance document is crucial for estate agents. It helps build trust with buyers, protects their reputation, and guards against legal troubles. Agents can improve transparency and fairness in the property market by applying the given recommendations carefully.

guidance document

The Buyer’s Perspective

Disclosing vital information before buyers view or offer on a property helps avoid unfair disadvantages. If this info comes out only after hiring conveyancers, buyers might buy unsuitable properties. This could lead to large financial losses and missed chances. Agents who share material information early make the process clear and fair for buyers. This reduces the risk of buyers facing pitfalls.


The Legal Framework

After the Misdescription Act was scrapped, estate agents now have to follow the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs). These rules make it mandatory for agents to uncover and share all important details before listing a property. It’s vital for them to stick to these guidelines to stay within the law and avoid any legal issues.

The CPRs set up rules that make agents actively share key information with buyers. This helps buyers get the important details they need. It allows them to make well-informed choices about the properties they’re considering.

Agents meet their legal duties by giving consumers accurate and complete information under the CPRs. This action aligns with the government’s aim for consumer protection and openness in the property market.

Estate agents need to get to grips with the CPRs’ specific demands to work effectively within the legal guidelines. Knowing and following these regulations shows their commitment to doing things right. It also helps protect their business from legal troubles.

Guidance and Support

Trading Standards has released a detailed 35-page guide for estate agents. It helps them follow the CPRs correctly. The guide answers frequent questions and explains their duties regarding important information. Reading this guide ensures agents remain within the law.

“The CPRs highlight a big change in estate agents’ duties. They must actively search for and share key information. This keeps things clear and protects the consumers.” – Trading Standards

Benefits of Compliance

Following the CPRs is not just about avoiding legal issues for estate agents. It also helps them gain buyers’ trust, creating positive connections and boosting their image.

Sticking to the CPRs lowers the chance of going to court and facing financial losses due to not sharing information. Buyers can make choices based on clear, full information. This reduces the chance of buying unsuitable properties or having issues later on.

In summary, following the CPRs shows an estate agent’s dedication to being professional, ethical, and fair. Agents who embrace these rules improve their clients’ experience while keeping within legal boundaries.


Compliance and Enforcement

It’s vital for estate agents to comply with rules about important information. Not doing so can lead to serious penalties, like jail time, being kicked out of the redress scheme, orders that ban them, and even bans for life. Trading Standards is serious about these rules and wants agents to make sure they share important information on time. Agents must take all necessary steps to meet their obligations and steer clear of the penalties for not following the rules.

Trading Standards is in charge of making sure estate agents share important information as required. Agents should know that not following the rules can lead to jail. This shows how serious these rules are. Additionally, if agents don’t follow the rules, they might be expelled from the redress scheme. This makes it hard for them to work in the field. They could also face bans that stop them from working as agents for life.

Estate agents are important for keeping things fair and open in the property market. By following the rules, they protect their reputation and help make clients more confident in the industry. Trading Standards stress the need to share important information on time. This helps buyers make well-informed choices. Being committed to following the rules makes the market fair for everyone and builds trust between agents and clients.

Agents need to set up strong systems and checks to ensure they follow the rules about sharing important information. This means checking regularly to make sure they are doing things right, looking at how they find and share important information, and giving their agents special training. By focusing on following the rules, agents can avoid penalties and make the property market more open and reliable.

The Redress Scheme: A Vital Component in Ensuring Compliance

The redress scheme is key to making sure estate agents share important information as required. It lets buyers seek help if they think an estate agent hasn’t been fair or hasn’t shared important information. If agents are kicked out of the scheme, they lose a crucial industry tool and face big obstacles in their work.

The scheme works to protect both buyers and sellers. It makes sure estate agents follow ethical and legal standards. Buyers can trust that their complaints will be taken seriously. Actions will be taken against agents who don’t follow the rules. This shows how important it is for agents to share important information and be accountable in the industry.

Enforcement Measures and Preventive Measures

To stop agents from not following the rules about sharing important information, there are penalties like jail, being expelled from the redress scheme, ban orders, and lifetime bans. But, estate agents can take steps to lower the risk of these penalties and ensure they follow the rules:

  • Implementing strong internal controls and processes
  • Regularly reviewing procedures and policies for sharing important information
  • Conducting thorough audits to check compliance
  • Offering continuous training and education for estate agents
Enforcement Measures Description
Imprisonment A possible penalty for agents who don’t share important information shows how serious this issue is.
Redress Scheme Expulsion Agents who don’t follow the rules may be expelled from the scheme, affecting their ability to work in the field.
Prohibition Orders Trading Standards can give out orders to stop agents who don’t follow the rules from being involved in the property market.
Lifetime Bans Agents not focusing on sharing important information could be banned for life from working as estate agents.

By taking these steps to prevent issues, estate agents show they are serious about following the rules. It’s important for agents to understand their duty to share important information and know the risks of not doing so.


Adapting to the Changes

Estate agents should see changes in material information disclosure as good. They are advised to change their methods and policies. This will make processes smoother and more open.

By accepting these changes and adding them to their daily tasks, agents can save time. They also reduce the chance of deals falling through. And they avoid hard talks due to missing information.

Agents can meet new rules by welcoming these changes. This improves their image and builds trust with their clients.

Having clear procedures for sharing important information can greatly help an agent’s day-to-day work. It makes sure all key details are easy to find and share with potential buyers.

Welcoming these changes shows agents care about their customers and clear dealings. Sharing all the info at the start can stop misunderstandings. It can also make buying and selling smoother.

Streamlining Workflow

Changing procedures to focus on sharing important information does two things. It meets legal needs and makes agents’ work more efficient. With solid policies, agents can quickly collect and check all needed information.

Putting material information disclosure at the heart of their work helps agents. They work more efficiently, ask for information less often, and serve their clients better.

Building Client Trust

Being proactive about sharing important information shows agents value trust and customer happiness. By being open with all details, agents show they are dependable and respected in the market.

With transparent and honest actions, agents make a trusting space. Clients can make choices confidently. This brings higher client happiness, more business, and good referrals.

Minimising Legal Risks

Creating careful procedures and policies for sharing key information is key to avoiding legal problems. By following new rules, agents keep themselves safe from legal trouble and protect their good name.

By making sharing information a key part of their everyday tasks, agents can keep their business safe. They avoid legal problems and keep a good reputation in their field.



Estate agents must prioritise and promptly disclose important info. This is key to stay within the law and protect customers. They need to understand their duties, follow Trading Standards, and update their methods. This way, they can meet their obligations to buyers.

If agents don’t comply, they could face serious legal issues. These include fines, bans, or even jail time. So, it’s crucial for agents to focus on material information and share it quickly. This helps them avoid such penalties.

Sharing important information is both a legal and ethical must. It makes the property market more open and fair. By doing this, agents gain buyers’ trust. It helps make the industry more dependable and trusted.



What is material information?

Material information is vital for buyers to make a wise buying choice.

What are the obligations of estate agents regarding material information?

Estate agents must gather and share all key details before advertising a property.

What penalties can estate agents face for non-compliance with material information obligations?

They could get an unlimited fine, be banned for life, or even serve up to 2 years in jail.

Can estate agents use difficulties or lack of readiness of property portals as an excuse for not publishing material information?

No, estate agents should still share all necessary info manually, even if property websites aren’t set up for it.

What are the consequences of non-disclosure for estate agents?

Not sharing information could lead to legal trouble, being kicked out of redress schemes, and lifetime bans.

Is there a guidance document available for estate agents?

Yes, a thorough 35-page guide by Trading Standards is out. It covers what estate agents must do about material information.

Why is it important to disclose material information before buyers view or make an offer?

Sharing this info early makes buying fairer. It also reduces the chance of buyers facing losses or wasted fees.

What is the legal framework regarding material information?

The old Misdescription Act is gone. Now, the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) are what apply.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

Breaking the rules can mean jail time, being expelled from redress schemes, getting prohibition orders, and lifetime bans.

How can estate agents adapt to the changes regarding material information?

Agents should take these changes as a chance to improve. They need to update their practices and focus on sharing material information.

You’re 8x times more likely to move with us than with other conveyancers.