The voice of the UK Conveyancer believes the funding boost for National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT) will mean better compliance with CPR – and improved consumer experience.
The Conveyancing Association are encouraged to hear the Government’s announcement that they are doubling the funding for the NTSEAT and believe the conveyancing industry will reap the benefits of reduced timescales in the homebuying process.
NTSEAT will now receive some £500,000 a year, but this will bring important new duties in the new-build sector and monitoring how estate agents display up-front referral fees.
Currently, there is very little detail on what NTSEAT’s powers will be in the new housing industry and whether, for example, it would be able to prohibit developers in the same way it can estate agents.
Furthermore, there is also not much detail on the monitoring of referral fees, since the Government has yet to announce what it intends to do, with a total ban not out of the question.
However, the Conveyancing Association believes that NTSEAT should be able to consider several vital matters.
Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, said: “The doubling of the NTS Estate Agency Team funding is most welcome and will deliver an increase in resources and capability to consider a number of key issues in the sector. Earlier this year we conducted a ‘homebuyer experience’ survey and just 2% of the 1,100 respondents felt they had received sufficient information on their property prior to viewing it.
“The Conveyancing Association has long championed the need for far greater upfront provision of information to ensure potential purchasers are much better informed before they make their offers; for example, many of the problems that have arisen where developers have sold new houses on leasehold terms may well have been avoided if the purchaser had received full disclosure on what they were actually purchasing.
“Our survey showed a significant lack of compliance with Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs), particularly from housing developers, in terms of the information home buyers should expect as a matter of course before viewing a property.
“It is heartening to hear that this new funding will be put towards looking at the scale of this problem on both new-build houses and to increase enforcement of CPRs on second-hand home sales.
“Compliance with CPRs is absolutely vital as it ensures all information required in the conveyancing process is gathered at the point of marketing which will reduce the current timescales of 14-16 weeks to exchange contracts, plus it will reduce waste and improve certainty.
“We welcome this move from the Government and believe it will significantly level the playing field and improve the overall consumer experience.”
As a conveyancer, do you feel this will improve and/or reduce timescales in the homebuying process of the new-build sector?