Trading Standards announce new compulsory data for property listings

Published: 11/12/2023 By Elliott Rowland - COO

In March last year (2022) Trading Standards announce compulsory data which had to appear on all property listings 

All listings had to include council tax bands, accurate property pricing (the abolition of POA) and tenure information. This change was the first phase (part A) of a wider three part plan by Trading Standards and the UK Government to make the material information about properties clearer. The main gist of this plan was to ensure key information about properties was available up front to buyers and renters, in the hope of avoid property fall-throughs later down the line.

On November 30th 2023 Trading Standards announced the publication of parts B and C of this plan, publishing comprehensive new guidance for Sales & Lettings.

What is the guidance?

Agents have an obligation to include “material information” on residential property listings. They define material information as “information which the average consumer needs, according to the context, to take an informed transactional decision”

In brief, ensure your property listings are marketed which all of the information a potential buyer or renter would need up front. In reality, most agents will be doing this anyway, but it just extends the definitions to provide a more definitive framework.

What is the “material information” now deemed necessary?

Trading Standards have outlined a list of characteristics that they define as material information, but make it clear agents should disclose any information which falls under the “material” definition. This isn’t exactly helpful if you’re looking for a specific black and white checklist.

However, we have summarized the guidance below to give you a helpful list:

  • The physical characteristics of the property
    • Property Type - this is already listed on the website, but just make sure your selection is accurate
    • Materials used in construction if it’s a known consideration to a purchase such as thatched roofs, prefab buildings, or timber framed windows

  • Number and type(s) of room
    • Accurately describe rooms and make measurements clear. Rooms are already displayed accurately on the website, but be clear if some measurements are "creative" such as measuring into restricted height spaces.
    • Outline where a room is affected by room shape such a  sloped ceiling

  • Utilities
    • Electricity Supply 
    • Water supply
    • Sewerage
    • Heating
    • Broadband
    • Mobile signal/coverage

  • Parking. Accurate description of the availability of parking at the property, including service charges if appropriate

You may also need to list any of the following, but this is only required if the property is affected by such as issue (this is part C of the new guidance)

  • Building Safety (such as unsafe cladding)
  • Restriction & Rights (eg: conservation areas, lease restrictions, listed building status)
  • Flood and erosion risk
  • Planning permission and proposals for development
  • Property accessibility and adaptations (step free access, wet room/level access shower, lateral living)
  • Coalfield or mining area

What actions will Webdadi be taking?

Agents already have the ability to outline all of the information required on their websites. Much of it will be included within the main descriptions or bullet pointed features of the property rather than having it's own dedicated field.

The emphasis will really be on agents to assess the quality of their write ups and ensure the information is correctly listed. The majority of the information is already being included by the vast majority of our clients, and is already the way in which the major property portals are displaying the necessary data.

Most of the information cannot be “automatically” added to the site, but is rather specific to each individual property and can only be outlined by the agent (for example, we cannot programmatically add the parking facilities or building materials of each property). As long as you are entering the data into the fields of your property CRM that the website uses (you can find out more information about that here your website will remain compliant.

However, the following option will be added to the websites in the next few months to help:

Broadband connectivety/availability
We’ll be partnering with BroadbandUK to provide all listings with broadband information automatically based on its postcode. This addition will bring your website in line with the major property portals

In summary

Accurate and more detailed write ups are going to be needed for all property listings. They should detail all of the key information a buyer or renter would need when making a decision on the property. Whilst this might be more up front effort when first bringing the property to market, ultimately this should lead to more concrete offers and less fall throughs. This is good news for all agents, especially in the current market.

Most of the information required is already incorporated into the website. The majority of the effort required will be when adding the property listing write up and bullet  points to your CRM,

However, we will be integrating Broadband speeds into the platform for each property listing automatically in due course.

Useful links

We recommend adding the following links to your website. This will provide a contingency to ensure you're always compliant, even if the odd property write up isn't quite up to scratch. It's hard to ensure 100% accuracy across all listings, particularly if you are waiting for certain information from vendors, landlords, or surveyors whilst still being under pressure to go to market.

Why not try adding a new website page and pasting in the following links. Building a simple website page and then linking it to your menu is a simple and effective way of ensuring compliance.

Broadband availability for any UK postcode

Mobile phone coverage for any UK postcode 

Energy Supplier Checker for any UK postcode 

Gas Supplier Checker for any UK postcode