Is your website compliant? - Blog

Is your website compliant?

Compliance Update Paul Offley, The Guild's Compliance Officer 7th March 2023

The Guild of Property Professionals is reminding agents to check information on their websites and to make sure all required information is included. This is according to Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, who adds that websites can often be viewed by trading standards teams remotely, and the first an agent could realise something is wrong is when the penalty notice arrives in their inbox.


Offley says that there was a case recently where an agent failed to have a valid Client Money Protection (CMP) certificate on display, they clearly included the name of the CMP provider within the landlord and tenant information pages and did have a valid CMP membership, but it was the actual certificate that was missing, resulting in a £5,000 penalty notice. 


“These sorts of cases highlight the importance of having a control testing procedure in place to ensure that your website meets the required compliance criteria. The website should be reviewed at least once a year to ensure that is contains the necessary information and that the information is up to date,” Offley advises.


He adds that as part of the review, agents should consider the following aspects:


Companies Act 2006 – Limited Company status

For Limited businesses in England and Wales, the website should include the registered name, registered address, company registration number and place of registration. Offley adds that it is also important to check the information held on the business at Companies House – the information should match identically to the information on your website. Pay attention to minor details such as Ltd and Limited.


Companies Act 2006 – Partnerships or Individuals

Offley says that if you have under 20 Partners, each Partner’s name should be included on the website. There should also be an address where documents can be served for each Partner. This can be one central address.


Consumer Estate Agents Redress Act

The redress scheme logo must be clearly shown on the website and the logo should link to the redress website. Alternately, the website address should be provided separately. 


According to Offley, the Complaint policy must also be available on an agent’s website.



Consumers must have access information regarding the current EPC rating on each individual property displayed on the website.


Data Protection

The website should have a privacy policy attached, explaining to consumers what is done with their data when visiting the website.


Consumer Protection from unfair trading regulations 2008

Properties on the website should include information on price, tenure and council tax band or rates payable in Northern Ireland.


Consumer Rights Act 2015 & Tenant Fee information 

If applicable the website should provide information on the fees and charges which could apply to both landlords and tenants. Also, the Landlord notice and Tenant notice, must clearly state fees inclusive of VAT, name your redress provider and your client money protection scheme. In addition, all rental properties displayed on the website should provide a link to information on tenant fees and charges.


In England, lettings agents would need to have a copy of their Client Money Protection scheme available on the website. In Wales, a lettings agent would need to display their Rent Smart Wales logo, and in Scotland, lettings agents are required to display their Letting Agent Registration number.


“Agents should have a checklist in place that helps them methodically go through and check that they are meeting the legislative requirements. A control testing procedure will ensure that an agent’s website remains compliant, and they avoid the unnecessary cost of a hefty penalty,” Offley concludes.


Paul Offley, The Guild's Compliance Officer

Paul Offley joined The Guild in 2017 as our in-house Compliance Officer, to help Members stay on top of legislation. Paul’s career has maintained a focus in estate agency for over 40 years, building a specialist knowledge in the compliance function. Paul helps Members to reduce the probability of any risk materialising by working alongside agents to identify areas where the business is at a high risk of exposure. Guild Members have compliance tools at their disposal and are regularly presented with updated information on the latest legislation requirements. Paul is also on hand to speak to agents individually, delivering quality and high standards to all our Members. Paul has been providing continual support to The Guild Members throughout COVID-19, from legislation and Government updates, to providing indispensable and personalised advice through Facebook Live. He is passionate about raising standards, and is part of The Property Ombudsman Industry Forum.

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