The Government has recently announced that funding for the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT) will be doubled.

The increased funding brings significant new responsibilities for the NTSEAT including policing the ongoing dispute with agents on displaying their referral fees upfront. However, the Government is yet to provide guidance on the referral fees and how they should be displayed but suggests a total ban is yet to be ruled out.

Funding for NTSEAT is now believed to be £500k per year, which has been praised by the Director of the Conveyancing Association, Beth Rudolf. Ms Rudolf showed her support to the increased funding by saying “We welcome this move from the Government and believe it will significantly level the playing field and improve the overall consumer experience.”

The doubling of funding is likely to increase enforcement and intended to improve overall compliance with Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs).

CPR Common Examples

This should serve as a warning to Agents that non-compliance is likely to be met much more quickly and with harsher penalties. Common examples of where Agents have previously fallen foul of the CPR’s are where agents have provided:-

  • Misleading information over the telephone or in the course of discussions, for example with prospective clients before taking instructions from them or with potential buyers when they are arranging to view a property
  • Misleading details in property particulars or other marketing material, for example newspaper advertisements, web pages and brochures
  • misleading photographs, video clips, floor plans, artist impressions, models or show homes.

If you are a property professional looking for legal advice or support regarding the CPR’s, the NTSEAT or any other legal issue please do not hesitate to contact me on 01206 239761 or email Lloyd for a no-obligation consultation.