After our webinar on 'Understanding Material Information Parts B&C and Staying Compliant,' Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, has addressed additional questions.
Understand Material Information Parts B & C and how to stay compliant
Following the release of Material Information Parts B & C, we hosted a webinar to help Estate Agents understand the new rules, how to stay compliant and how to capitalise on the opportunities that these new requirements bring.
In this session iamproperty’s movebutler Product Manager, Tania Bonesi, sat down with Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at The Conveyancing Association, to discuss everything Material Information and to answer agent’s questions on the new requirements.
What is included in Material Information Parts B & C?
Part A of Material Information, which came into effect in July of 2022 includes anything that would directly impact a buyer financially, such as council tax, ground rent, service charges or any additional costs associated with the property.
Part B, which came into effect on the 30th of November 2023 also includes information that is likely to apply to every property, such as utilities, parking, whether there is broadband or cellular coverage at the property and any restrictions that may apply.
Part C, which also came into effect on the 30th of November this year, includes anything that may or may not apply to a property, such as whether there is a flood risk or any potential risk of coastal erosion that may impact the property.
What opportunities do the new requirement create?
A key opportunity of the Material Information requirements is that if agents use these new requirements to gather all of the necessary transactional information upfront then it will support in speeding up transactions and helping agents to get paid quicker.
Having all of the information upfront also provides agents with the opportunity to reach out to their local network of conveyancers, who can then identify if there is anything present within that information that has the potential to slow down the transaction.
In addition to this, more information upfront leads to attracting the right buyer for the property who is less likely to pull out of the transaction as they are aware of everything about the property from the very beginning, meaning a lower risk of fall throughs.
What are the benefits for agents of getting the new requirements right?
Despite agent’s liability in relation to the Material Information remaining the same since 2008, the new guidance helps to support agents in remaining compliant and ensuring that they are protected in line with the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team’s (NTSELAT) guidance, should a complaint against them ever arise.
While fines will be offered for non-compliant agents, if agents can ensure that they have policies and processes in place to ensure that all of the necessary information for a property is gathered in line with the Material Information requirements, then they are protected.
Getting the new requirements right can help agents to win more business by allowing them to demonstrate that they are well-informed on the required legislation and are fully compliant. It can also contribute to a lower rate of dis-instruction as vendors are less likely to want to resubmit all the data and therefore change agents once this information has been completed.
What is in place to support Estate Agents with the new requirement?
Technology is a key support for agents in being able to reduce the administrative burden and speed up the information finding process. Through the use of software, it is possible to flag any potential issues or information that is important for the agent to be aware of, which can then be actioned.
iamproperty’s movebutler solution combines compliance, legal and financial preparation and surveys, to help save agents time, stay compliant, build revenue and get paid quicker. The Enhanced PIQ forms cover everything needed for Material Information Facts as part of NTSELAT’s guidance, in addition to extra things agent would normally ask for. This supports in digitising and speeding up your PIQ process and making it easier to share Material Information with potential buyers.
There is also a great deal of support and guidance available from the NTSELAT who are available to support agents in ensuring they remain complaint. More information can be found here: Material Information – National Trading Standards
Your questions answered
During the live Q&A, Beth Rudolf answered some of your questions, here’s a few of them.
Q – When does this come into practice?
A – Although the requirements have existed since 2008, from the 30th of November 2023 the NTSELAT’s guidance officially came into place, meaning that action against agents can now be taken should they not comply.
Q – Do agents have to put all the Material Information for a property on to their property listing?
A- Within a property advert, Part’s A and B of Material Information should definitely be included, as they are applicable to all properties. For Part C it is permitted to include a click through, should there be any complexities within this section that are too long to include within the advert of the property.
Q – Do agents need to gather the Material Information for current active listings or is it just for new listings moving forward?
A- Material Information requirements apply to all properties throughout the UK, regardless of how long they have been on the market.
Q- If a property is being taken in part-exchange by a housebuilder and then placed on the market can the information from the former vendor be relied upon?
A- Some of the information can be relied upon e.g. Neighbourly disputes and searches that the developer has carried out, however it is listed within the NSTELAT’s guidance what is deemed a reliable data source.
Q- What happens if a search expires prior to a property selling?
A- Many providers will offer a search guarantee, meaning that if the search expires before a property selling then a second set of searches will be provided free of charge. Data also shows that 90% of property transactions go through within 6-months so there is a low chance that the searches will expire.
Q- What happens in the case of a repossessed property or if the information is unavailable?
A – In the case of a non-occupying owner, then you are only required to gather the information that you can, you only have to disclose things that you are aware of and can verify about the property.
For additional questions and answers visit: Material Information Parts B&C- Your questions answered.
Watch the full webinar below.