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Landlords selling up will have to pay more

According to new Trading Standards guidelines, landlords who are leaving the industry may have to pay hundreds of pounds more when selling their property.

That's what a well-known conveyancing solicitor claims.

Sellers will need to disclose on property particulars a variety of new "material information" in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT). This information includes any restrictive covenants, which prohibit homeowners from engaging in specific activities in their homes, whether the property is listed, whether there is a tree preservation order in place, and whether there are any rights of way.

In order to add information to the listing about flood risk, coastal erosion, coalfield mining, and pertinent planning licences, sellers may also need to conduct environmental and municipal land charges searches.

Landlords selling up will have to pay more

For buyers, however, who can now see all the information up front before committing to a purchase, the guideline is good news.

Simon Nosworthy, head of residential conveyancing at Osbornes Law, says: “This guidance is a revolution in the way people sell their homes in the UK. Beforehand the onus was on the buyer to carry out environmental and local authority searches but now this will be on the seller.

“Effectively sellers will have to engage with a conveyancing solicitor before they list their property and not when they have received an offer. This means that if a homeowner lists their property and fails to sell it, they will have already spent a decent amount of money on fees and searches. Overall this could mean homeowners spending hundreds of pounds more.”

There have been two stages to the new guidelines' publication.

The initial section (part A) of the property listings required information about the price, council tax band, and leasehold or freehold status about eighteen months ago. The majority of real estate brokers have already said this.

Two more sections (parts B and C) were announced in November of last year. Information about parking, heating, and utility supply is covered in Part B. Part C, which comprises the substantial information previously indicated, is the most significant modification and will require sellers to work with a solicitor prior to listing their home.

Nosworthy also added: “While the guidance was announced in November it appears that the NTSELAT is allowing time for estate agents to be trained before being enforced. Additionally, very few consumers know about this, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be made to gather this information on their home in the coming months.

“However, it still remains to be seen what the housing platforms like Rightmove do about the guidance and if they make estate agents list this information.

“While it may be seen as an arduous hurdle for those selling a home, it is good news for buyers and should ensure the whole process is smoother. It also has the added benefit of meaning there will be no nasty shocks down the line for buyers.”


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