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NEWSFLASH: Funding doubles for industry regulator

4th September 2018

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).

Since replacing the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2014, the number of complaints regarding rogue estate agents has quadrupled. The money will be used to recruit additional staff.

As part of its responsibility to police rogue agents, the NTSEAT is responsible for the implementation of the CPRs.

CPRs state that agents and vendors must be more forthcoming with information related to property to enable any prospective purchaser or tenant to make an informed decision about whether to go ahead with the sale or tenancy.

Should anything that could have been identified at an earlier stage come to light further down the line that affects the original decision, both the agent and their vendors are liable.

A number of cases have hit the national press recently, with one agent fined £22,500 by their local Trading Standards Agency for false and misleading advertising.

While the agent in question brazenly flouted the regulations and deliberately misled his customers, agents are falling foul of CPRs and opening up their business to the risk of fines and reputational damage.

As ever with compliance, the advice is to err on the side of caution. Make sure you are asking the right questions and documenting the responses. You then need to be able to demonstrate you have communicated these responses to those interested in the property.

Taking a proactive approach not only ensures you comply and reduces your risk of fines and bad PR, it is also beneficial for your business.

More information up front produces better quality viewings, and once you have an interested party the risk of fall through is reduced because there’s nothing to come out of woodwork 3,4,5 weeks down the line… how many times have transactions fallen through because of something that could have been clarified at a much earlier point in the process?

Most importantly, keep a record… you need to be able to demonstrate you have a process in place for capturing material information and communicating it to would-be purchasers. CPRs present a great opportunity for a win-win-win

  • the client who sells their property faster,
  • the agent who gets paid faster,
  • and the buyer who experiences a smoother customer journey.


Make sure you are treating your customers fairly and staying the right side of compliance. Click on the links below to read our latest guidance…


Compliance in a Box from Landmark is the simple pay-as-you-go compliance toolkit.

Make sure you are asking the right questions of your clients, and documenting their response. Compliance Packs help agents fulfil their obligations under CPRs and AML. From one account source:

  • Electronic property information questionnaire & fixtures & fittings form for CPRs
  • Electronic client verification for AML inc PEPs, Sanctions & Checks
  • Land Registry ownership & boundary confirmation
  • Foreign national checks… and more

with a complete time and date stamped audit trail of all compliance activity. Register your details below or contact Samantha Peacock on 01524 220013/ sam.peacock@landmark.co.uk for your no obligation trial.

Find out more



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