With Parts B & C moving closer to launch, we spoke with Beth Rudolf about what will be expected of agents, the dangers of non-compliance and how technology can support in easing the transition.
Material Information Part A – are you compliant?
Material Information legislation is firmly on the radar at the moment, with an update on the requirements of Parts B & C expected in the autumn.
It is being brought in by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team to support consumers in making more informed decisions earlier in the process, by giving them access to more information upfront. The long-term objective of Material Information is to help the housing market transition into a place of greater efficiency and stability.
With these further requirements on the horizon, it’s a good time to check whether your agency is compliant with Part A of the legislation, which came into effect last year, and what to expect from Parts B &C.
Are you compliant with Part A?
Part A was announced in February 2022 and came into force at the end of May 2022. It states that agents should now have transitioned to systems that allow clients to view the mandatory Material Information outlined in the first part of the initiative.
Part A asks for Material Information that, “regardless of outcome, is always considered material for all properties regardless of location.” This information generally involves unavoidable costs that will be incurred by the occupier regardless of the use of the property.
In many properties this will translate to including details such as a property’s council tax band or rate, the property price, and tenure information (for sales) in a listing.
On property portals where fields relating to Part A are left blank, this will be flagged on the listing and will link to advice for consumers on why that information is important and how it may be obtained.
A list of the terms used to describe the status of properties in relation to Part A information is available from the National Trading Standards project summary here.
What we know about Parts B & C
The next phases of Material Information Parts B and C are expected in the autumn and are currently under consultation with industry partners. These elements will incorporate additional Material Information to be presented on listings, such as restrictive covenants, flood risk, and other specific factors that may impact certain properties.
Once all three phases have been rolled out, National Trading Standards are campaigning for all aspects of Material Information to be mandatory on property listings. At that stage, agents will need to include all the necessary information before it is listed on a property portal.
How we can help
Agents feeling like they don’t know enough about the upcoming changes can access insights, tips and guidance from industry experts via our dedicated Material Information Hub. New content is being added all the time in the run up to further guidance being issued.
Our end to end onboarding solution, iamproperty movebutler, is already supporting agents with Part A requirements by gathering all of the information for them, helping to remove the admin burden. When the full extent of requirements for Parts B & C are confirmed, the platform will be enhanced to take care of the changes and help agents stay compliant.