OFT publishes new house sales guidance
The new guidance is designed to help estate agents and others involved in property sales understand their regulatory responsibilities.
The guidance identifies examples of trading practices that could breach the regulations and includes practical steps that businesses can take to comply with the law.
It covers two pieces of existing legislation: Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs).
Non-compliance with either piece of legislation could lead to action under the Enterprise Act 2002.
This could see a trader be subject to civil court proceedings or even criminal enforcement action, an unlimited fine and up to two years’ imprisonment for a conviction in the Crown Court.
Cavendish Elithorn, Senior Director of the OFT’s Goods and Consumer Group, said: “Buying and selling a property is usually one of the biggest purchases we make and can also be one of the most stressful.
“Unfair business practices can cause substantial losses or frustration to buyers and sellers either when transactions collapse or afterwards when the truth is uncovered.
“In response to feedback, this guidance has been developed with help from the property sales industry and Trading Standards Services, to provide clear and comprehensive, but practical, advice.”