Property Description

Estate Agents and Letting Agents have to follow specific laws about about how property being offered for sale or for let is described and what information they must share.

What the law says

Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) it is a criminal offence for an estate agent or letting agent to make false or misleading statements about property being offered for sale or for let.

It is also an offence to omit material information about a property that consumers would need to make an informed decision. In addition, the CPRs require agents to share with the consumer any essential or relevant information that they should know about a property.

Examples of information that must be disclosed include:

  • Compliance with building regulations for loft conversions or extensions
  • Proximity to landmarks such as industrial estates and major roads

Property details often include general disclaimers for any wrong description of the property. However, these will not protect the agent where material information is presented misleadingly, has been omitted or was information that the agent was expected to know.  It will depend on the facts of the case as to how effective such disclaimers will be.

How to complain

If an estate agent or letting agent has not disclosed information in the correct manner, report it to Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or visit:
www.nidirect.gov.uk/consumerline

If you have a dispute with an estate agent in relation to residential property, you may be able to take your complaint up with one of the two redress schemes.  All estate agents in the UK who deal with residential property must belong to one of the schemes. The two schemes are The Property Ombudsman and the Property Redress Scheme.