“Price on application” deemed unlawful in property listings

Today's Conveyancer

10 May 2022

National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has published its opinion, developed with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), that the use of “POA” or “price on application” in property listings contravenes consumer protection legislation.

NTSELAT’s opinion is that the use of “POA” or “price on application” in relation to a listing on a property portal or an agent website is likely to be misleading as it withholds – or in some cases masks – the asking price from consumers. A property’s price is information which the average consumer needs in order to make an informed transactional decision, such as to make enquiries about the property, conduct further research or arrange a viewing.

Senior Manager of the NTS Estate and Letting Agency Team, James Munro, said:

“I am pleased to be able to set out a clear position that the use of ‘POA’ or ‘price on application’ in property listings is unlawful. We have considered this issue carefully and I am grateful to colleagues, the CMA and legal experts for their input. We hope this clarity will be helpful for property portals and agents as they prepare their listings going forward. This position will now form part of our general industry advice and guidance.”

NTSELAT was asked by industry to provide a view on the use of POA as part of the ongoing process to improve the disclosure of material information on property listings.

An overview of the broader programme of work by NTSELAT, in partnership with industry, to define what constitutes material information for property listings can be found on the NTS website https://www.nationaltradingstandards.uk/uploads/Material%20information%20-%20Part%20A%20-%20Feb%202022.pdf

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