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Agents welcome Trading Standards “clarity” on lettings terminology

Propertymark has welcomed what it calls the “clarity” given to advertising terminology following the publication of new guidelines from the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agent Team.

It is a legal requirement that the marketing status of a property is accurately described and updated in a timely manner, as this is material information for prospective tenants and purchasers. 

It is the responsibility of the agent to ensure that this information is clear, unambiguous, and up to date when the advertising of a property is still live.


Whilst the use of any of the terms listed in the new NTSELAT guidance is voluntary, agents must still ensure that material information about the status of the property is clearly communicated to potential buyers or renters across all platforms they are listed on.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark comments: “When it comes to the terminology used surrounding the renting and sale of properties, it can become confusing for some consumers, so we are pleased that agents now have access to an easy breakdown of terminology to help inform their clients, provide consistent clarity, and avoid possible frustration.

“This guidance should also act as a refresher for agents, to ensure they are using the correct language when selling and letting their clients’ homes, so we would encourage agents to read the definitions and remain compliant with current requirements.”

Revealing the new guidelines on behalf of NTSELAT, Emma Cooke - the team’s policy and information manager - says: “Agents commonly use terms like ‘new on the market’, ‘new instruction’, ‘under offer’, ‘sale/let agreed’, ‘sold/let subject to contract’ in advertisements, marketing boards and on property portal listings. 

“Delays in updating a property’s listing status or use of incorrect descriptions can lead to frustration for all involved in the buying or renting process – as well as risking agents breaching industry codes and their legal obligations.

“This updated guidance is intended to provide consistency and clarity and – by providing a working definition – we hope this helps reduce unnecessary confusion for property agents, consumers, and other organisations in the property industry.” 

Agents who missed the announcement and details earlier this week can see more here.


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