The Guild prepares Members for changes to Disclosure of Material Information - Blog

The Guild prepares Members for changes to Disclosure of Material Information

The Guild prepares Members for changes to Disclosure of Material Information

Compliance Update Paul Offley, The Guild's Compliance Officer 21st December 2023

The Guild of Property Professionals, a leading network of independent agents dedicated to enhancing industry standards and promoting transparency in the property market, is taking proactive steps to ensure its Members are fully prepared for the changes to the Disclosure of Material Information to help implementation. Amongst other things, The Guild will be hosting a Q&A webinar for Members on 5 December. These changes will impact Material Information Parts B and C, with relevance to both sales and lettings transactions across England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

 

Hosting webinar is Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, who is spearheading the efforts to inform and educate estate and lettings agents throughout the network about the modifications to the Disclosure of Material Information guidelines. Offley believes that the changes hold significant importance in improving transparency and safeguarding the interests of buyers and tenants in property transactions.

 

Commenting on the latest published guidelines, Offley says, “Whilst this is not new legislation in itself it is good to have some clarity and consistency on what is deemed material information. This will help sales and lettings agents ensure that those involved with the transaction have all the information required to make an informed decision. Whilst this may mean some changes in the information obtained in the long term, it has the real benefit of reducing queries at a later date and therefore giving an opportunity to reduce the time between sale agreed and exchange, as well as the number of fall throughs. As with all change it may take time to fully embed but this is a major step in the industry looking at how it can improve the home buying process. Overall, a good way forward for both consumers and agents.”

 

Offley stressed the critical role of these changes, underlining potential legal consequences for agents who fail to adhere to these guidelines. He commented, "The changes are designed to empower buyers by providing them with access to all material information necessary to make informed decisions. Failing to disclose such information may result in agents being in breach of Consumer Protection Regulations from Unfair Trading."

 

Starting from the implementation date, estate and lettings agents will be responsible for providing additional information on all property portals, websites, and brochures, ensuring that buyers and tenants have access to comprehensive and pertinent data that facilitates their decision-making.

 

The webinars will offer detailed insights into the new requirements and where to source the necessary information. The Guild is committed to aiding its Members in seamlessly transitioning to the new guidelines and maintaining the highest standards of compliance.

 

Offley further stated, "The commitment of estate and lettings agents to transparency and compliance is not only pivotal in safeguarding their clients but also in elevating the trust and integrity of the UK property market. Together, we can create a more transparent and trustworthy property market in the UK."

 

Information about the new changes can be found on the National Trading Standards website. Estate and lettings agents who wish to get further guidance on how their business can remain compliant and up to date with changes, visit: www.join.guildproperty.co.uk.

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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