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What landlords need to know about new 'material information' guidance

Posted 18/02/2024 by Reeds Rains
Categories: Landlords/Lettings
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Over the past few years, the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has been working to clarify the kind of information that should be provided to consumers before they enter into a transaction – i.e. before they buy or rent a property.

Agents already have a legal obligation not to omit material information from property listings, which the Consumer Protection Regulations define as: “information which the average consumer needs, according to the context, to take an informed transactional decision”.

However, exactly what that information is, has been something of a grey area until now. As a result, there’s been a lack of consistency across the industry, meaning many people haven’t found out about things like restrictive covenants, public rights of way, parking permits, flood risks and even Council Tax banding until they have already begun the legal buying or renting process.

In some cases, that means unexpected extra costs are incurred; in others, the issue may be so significant that the buyer or tenant withdraws from the process, wasting time and money that could have been saved if the relevant information had been provided up front.

What changes are now in effect?

To help agents fulfill their legal obligations and ensure people are fully informed about relevant factors before entering into a property transaction, the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has created and published clear guidance on the information that should be included on every property listing. It is divided into three parts, with separate guides for lettings and sales - here, we’re focusing on lettings.

Although this is guidance rather than legislation, it is considered best practice and the new industry standard. The UK’s major property portals, including Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket have been working alongside NTSELAT and other industry leaders on this programme and changing their listings software to accommodate the new information.

What kind of information should you now be providing to your letting agent?

Part A of the guidance, announced in 2022, covers the most basic details, which has already been standard on listings for some time: Council Tax or Domestic Rates, the rent amount and details of any deposits payable.

Parts B and C, covering more specific and detailed information about the property, were published at the end of November last year.

Part B relates to all properties and includes:

  • The property type and construction materials
  • The number and type of rooms, including measurements
  • Utilities - that’s information about the supply of water, electricity and broadband; the heating system; sewerage arrangements and mobile phone signal/coverage
  • Parking – the availability of parking at the property; whether a permit is required; whether there is an EV charging point

The information covered in Part C is only relevant to properties affected by specific issues, including:

  • Building safety – e.g. if there is any unsafe cladding or risk of collapse of any part of the property
  • Risk of flooding and erosion
  • Restrictions that could affect the tenant’s use of the property – e.g. lease restrictions, such as no pets; restrictions on running a business from home; any public right of way over the land
  • Any known planning permission and development proposals
  • Property adaptations – e.g. ramps for step-free access

Every agent should be working on putting procedures in place for collecting the necessary information from landlords or other sources. At Reeds Rains, we are currently developing our sales and lettings systems and processes to incorporate all the changes. NTSELAT has also produced a helpful guide for landlords and sellers, with a detailed list of the minimum information required and where it can be found.

If an agent you are dealing with does not have a similar process around gathering and publishing this material information, they are also unlikely to be a member of one of the industry’s self-regulating bodies. In that case, it may be wise to find another agent who does operate to best practice industry standards and in particular, follows the guidance from NTSELAT, like ourselves.

The benefits of this new practice for landlords

The publication of this material information on property listings is clearly beneficial if you are buying a property to let or for your tenants, who will now be much better informed about the homes they’re considering renting. But it’s also of benefit to you as a landlord:

  1. It can reduce the risk of fall-throughs if you are buying/selling or letting a property and therefore reduce incurring costs when a sale falls through or if letting voids
  2. You may let your property more quickly, as tenants will have all the material information upfront, before they even view


If you have any questions or you’re not sure how or where to access any of the required information, we’re always here to help. You can find the details for your local Reeds Rains branch here.

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The Reeds Rains Content Marketing Team

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