Consumer protection in the property sector

Consumer protection in the property sector

How can consumers in the property sector benefit from the consumer protection rules? David Smith, partner and head of operations at Anthony Gold Solicitors discusses the implications of the rules, and the forthcoming changes to them, on the private residential sector.

How do the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, SI 2008/1277 (CPRs) affect the property sector?

CPRs are applicable to all parts of the property sector. Since the repeal of the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 (PMA 1991) in 2013, they are also one of the primary controls on misleading advertising in the property sector.

Who benefits from the CPRs?

Ultimately, landlords, tenants, vendors and purchasers of property. The CPRs specifically benefit consumers so the private residential sector is the primary beneficiary in property terms. As the regulations apply to landlords in their dealings with tenants and to their agents, in dealing with both sides it is likely that tenants and property purchasers will get the most immediate value.

Who is caught by the CPRs?

Any trader selling products or services to a consumer is caught. This includes landlords and letting and estate agents. However, it also includes a range of secondary suppliers that sit around the property industry including surveyors, plumbers, electricians, and lawyers.

 

What sort of transactions are caught?

Almost any transaction that involves making a transactional decision is potentially caught by the CPRs. This is wider than simply entering into a contract for provision of services--it includes a mere decision to ask for more information prior to entry into such a contract.

What is the 'misleading omissions' provision?

Misleading omissions is an area that has caused a lot of concern. It deals with a situation where something should have been disclosed, but is not. It is most commonly talked about in terms of what should be disclosed to purchasers and tenants. There is inevitably a substantial grey area in relation to this issue as there are some matters that really should be discussed and others that are less obvious. The normal advice is that if a reasonab

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