Best way to advertise your rental property? Just put one picture on the portals? A long long ago that would have been the answer… as would putting a picture of the property in the newspaper – so quaint!
Those days are gone and quite rightly. It has always been important to us to make sure that everyone had all the material information to save them wasting their time viewing a property that would not be right for them.
But there was a law behind what we needed to do and it is called – The Consumer Protection Regulation from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) introduced back in 2008.
This legislation made sure that material information relating to the property was disclosed. Things like declaring that someone died at the property or it was a brothel are really second nature now.
Recently the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) published Parts B and C of material information rules. Part A of the material information rules said that agents must include the price, council tax and tenure terms on listings.
So going forward there will be far more information that will need to be declared on the initial advertising listing.
It will now be necessary to give information on broadband and mobile coverage as well as parking restrictions and any planning permissions, rights of ways, restrictions and flood risk data.
What happens if you don’t declare material information?
A little more than a slapped wrist. The Property Ombudsman (TPO), which we are a member of, has its own Code of Practice, which looks at material information requirements. A breach of the CPRs is a criminal offence and a ‘trigger’ offence for the purposes of a warning or prohibition order under the Estate Agents Act 1979.
How is going to affect you?
When we advertise your property, we will now need to include many more specific points about the properties going forward. Since 2007 we have been asking quite a few detailed questions so we would know and be able to tell prospective tenants the properties such as utilities or lack of them. However because the portals did not have the space to add certain details (such as council tax band or rate, property price or rent and tenure information ) we have always added material information into the description. One of the driving points for us changing our CRM system was because we knew this change was coming down the line.
Going forward when we remarket your property we may be rechecking some of the answers you gave us initially such as restrictive covenants. We will be researching with you issues such as flood risk. Therefore it may take a little longer to get your property on the market whilst we check these things with you.
Just an idea of what we might be going through with you (not an exhaustive list)
Physical characteristics of the property:
- Property type – e.g. house, flat, room to let, park home etc.
- Property construction – key materials used in the main structure and other areas
Number and types of room:
- Including room measurements
Utilities – how they are supplied:
- Electricity supply
- Water supply
- Broadband – including type and an indication of speed
- Mobile signal/coverage – including any known issues or restrictions
- Is there allocated parking or restrictions in place?
- Is there a cost associated with parking?
We will also be looking at whether the property is affected by an issue that you have been made aware of such as:
- Building safety – e,g, subsidence
- Restrictions – e.g. conservation area, listed building status, tree preservation order
- Rights and easements – e.g. public rights of way, shared drives
- Flood risk
- Planning permission – for the property itself and its immediate locality
- Accessibility/adaptations – e.g. step free access, wet room, essential living accommodation on entrance level
- Coalfield or mining area
What have we done to make sure material information is declared?
As I mentioned above, one of the main reasons behind changing our CRM system was to make sure that we had the right boxes to tick when advertising a property – we are now waiting for the portals to advertise things in the right place .
If you are unsure about what you need to declare just give us a call on 01480 494939.