The devil is in the details when it comes to finding a home. When you’re buying, renting, or selling a home, here’s what you need to know about the new material information rules.

You might have noticed that property listings today are more detailed than ever.

This is not a coincidence. It’s part of a process to improve property listings and provide you with all the essential details.

Buying, selling, or renting should be a transparent and less stressful process for everyone involved. A property listing should help you make an informed decision when buying a home.

In the end, it should make the sale, purchase or rental process more seamless, since everyone knows what they’re getting into.

For property listings, what constitutes ‘material information’?

‘Material information’ refers to the details surrounding a property that may affect your decision.

Based on the context, National Trading Standards (NTS) defines it as “information a consumer needs to make an informed transactional decision”.

School ratings and proximity to a train station are not considered necessities, since they are considered preferences.

A property listing should include the following information:

Listed properties must include all unavoidable costs associated with them since May 2022.

NTS explains how material information rules are benefiting buyers, sellers, and renters in this video.

On all property listings, you should see the following information:

  • Sale price

  • Council tax band (or domestic rate in Northern Ireland)

  • Tenure (freehold, leasehold, share of leasehold, commonhold, feudal)

  • For leasehold properties: length of lease, annual ground rent, ground rent review period, annual service charge amount and service charge review period

  • For Shared Ownership properties: the percentage share being sold plus the  rent you’ll pay on the other proportion

In addition, rental properties should include the following information:

  • Rental rate

  • Deposit amount

  • Length of tenancy (year/month)

  • Council tax band (England, Wales and Scotland)

You’re ahead of the game if you’re interested in energy efficiency. Existing laws require property listings to include EPC ratings.

Is this information missing from a listing?

Providing accurate information about all properties is the responsibility of estate agents.

Their update or removal might be requested by NTS if they missed something.

To find out more about a property that’s missing some details, contact the estate agent.

As of now, there are no plans to remove listings that don’t comply, but that may change in the future.

If you’re selling your home, what does that mean?

Material information changes mean you have to provide certain details about your home and you may be held liable if you misrepresent anything.

The situation isn’t a cause for concern.

When you give your estate agent all the details they need, they’ll add them to the listing.

This will encourage genuine inquiries if these details are provided upfront. The listing will attract potential buyers or tenants if it contains accurate information.

As well as preventing a later breakdown of a rental or sale agreement.

How will listings in the future display material information?

You should also expect to see the following when we reach the next step of the process:

  • Renewable or alternative energy sources

  • Broadband options

  • Parking details

  • Locational information like flood risk

  • Rights and restrictions affecting the property

For more information, go here: