Free trial Sign-up

Please leave your name and email and we'll be in contact shortly.



Contact Number


Please complete the sum:        
38 + 8 =

Case Study: HS2 derails prospective purchase

25th June 2018

Our latest case study looks at a case involving the purchase of a property near to a major infrastructure project.

Such cases can be very subjective as homebuyers will have different opinions about living near railways, major transport routes, power station, wind farms etc.

An estate agent must make a judgement call about whether such information constitutes material information under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs); CPRs require estate and letting agents to provide up front any information which would affect the decision to buy the property.

Some cases are more clear cut than others and Propertymark’s Primary Authority Advice[1] is a useful resource, as well as previous TPO decisions. [2]

In this case a couple were concerned that their prospective purchase was close to the proposed HS2 train route. They claimed that having asked the question they were advised it was not and proceeded with the transaction until it was revealed in the searches that the property was just under ½ mile from the proposed HS2 route.

They withdrew from the transaction and sought redress for the £1200 they had spent on the survey and legal costs.

The agent claimed it was their policy to direct people to the HS2 website when such queries arose, and disputed that they had told them there was no issue. The agent also cited the signage nearby to the property protesting against HS2 as evidence the buyers must have known there may have been an issue.

TPO found in favour of the purchasers, but did not refund the survey and legal costs, instead awarding £400 for aggravation and breaching CPR.

Critical to this decision are 3 points

  • HS2 was material information. The buyers had made that clear and, as in previous TPO decisions[3], the fact that the buyers withdrew from the transaction immediately after finding out satisfied TPO that had the agent provided more accurate information up front, a different transactional decision would have been made.
  • The agent was unable to provide documented evidence (emails/phone calls/letters) that suggested they had requested the buyers review the HS2 website to verify the route.
  • There was a high likelihood the buyers were aware of some risk given their initial concerns and should have raised their own enquiries.

By establishing better quality information up front, you can comply with your obligations under the CPRs, improve the quality of your viewings and reduce the number of fall throughs


Compliance in a Box from Landmark helps agents make sure you ask the right questions of your clients, and document their response. Our simple pay-as-you-go compliance toolkit helps agents fulfil their obligations under CPRs and AML; leaving you to deal with the business of selling houses.

For more information please complete the form below, or contact Compliance in a Box on 01524 220013

Register your interest today





[1] http://www.propertymark.co.uk/working-in-the-industry/primary-authority-advice.aspx

[2] https://www.tpos.co.uk/news-media-and-press-releases/case-studies

[3] http://etsos.co.uk/clients-will-dictate-what-constitutes-material-information/

The client and experts view...

  • thumb1
Latest newsspeech Bubble

Crack down on AML with “Flag it Up”

The government have moved to crack down on Money Laundering in the UK with a new campaign focusing on the accountancy, legal and property sectors. (more…)

How to write your AML risk assessment

The Money Laundering Regulations require estate agents to risk assess their business relationships and apply an appropriate level of investigation to ensure that they understand who their customer is, and why they are involved in the transaction. (more…)

Fines for failure to identify beneficial owners

Agents are falling foul of money laundering regulations by not having a process in place to identify third party ownership and beneficial owners. (more…)

NEWSFLASH: Funding doubles for industry regulator

The government have announced a significant funding increase for property industry regulator the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT).

There has long been criticism of a lack of resource in the team whose responsibility it is to police and enforce various regulations estate agents are governed by; including the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs). (more…)

£22.5k fine for estate agent…

A recent news story highlights the risks posed by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, otherwise known as CPRs. (more…)

newsletter sign-up

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Email Address

trial sign-up

Click the Apply button opposite to use our software on a trial basis...

  • etsosnews

  • etsosnews

  • Linkedin Twitter Facebook
    This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.