The mobile signal can be material information…

Agents may need to include a property’s broadband speed and mobile signal on listings in the next set of material information rules, Trading Standards has revealed.

Speaking to transfer agents at the Bold Legal Group Summer Conference, James Munro, Team Leader for the National Business, Property and Leasing Standards Agency (NTSELAT) outlined what could be included in parts B and C of the new initial material information rules.

He said agents were starting to comply with the material information required under Part A of the amendments such as lease terms and council tax, but he showed a few examples where the listings were unclear.

Munro added that Part B is still being worked on and that’s where it “gets more complicated.”

He said: “This is where we say we need to know things about a property that would be unconventional.

“Is broadband speed or mobile signal material information?

“I went to see a nice property but my wife and I couldn’t get a signal on our phones and there was none on my work phone.

“It sounds idyllic, but it’s a serious problem.

“We would say we can’t live there because we can’t do anything about it.”

Munro was unable to give a timeline for when Parts B and C – where the listings will need to include details such as covenants – as he said work was still underway to have the portals adapt their systems.

He said transfer agents should get involved at an earlier stage to meet Part C requirements.

Munro was also asked why trade standards do more than enforce existing transparency rules under current consumer protection regulations.

He said: “We could have taken enforcement action against agents or even portals, but that won’t necessarily solve things.

“It pisses everyone off and makes people resentful and they won’t want to work with us.

“We want to ensure compliance by working together.”

Meanwhile, Bold Legal Group founder Rob Hailstone used the conference to announce the launch of a new directory of law firms happy to be educated from day one of a seller’s instruction for help provide more initial information.

The Bold Legal Move website will feature law firms across England and Wales and will be free for lawyers and agents to use.

Hailstone also said there will be a National Land Transfer Awareness Week next spring.

Garland K. Long