Rightmove has promised to encourage estate agents to give more information about leasehold sales after pressure from Katie Kendrick, of the National Leasehold Campaign.
The issue is reported on the Property Eye website:
Rightmove has pledged to encourage estate agents to divulge more property information on listings following complaints from leasehold campaigners about a lack of detail on tenure.
Mrs Kendrick, who co-founded the NLC and is a trustee of LKP – as are the two other NLC’s co-founders Cath Williams and Joanne Darbyshire – told the portal the lack of lease information on listings does not comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
Mrs Kendrick told Property Eye:
“Rightmove’s advertising description of the property for sale can affect consumers’ transactional decisions and I believe there is not enough information about tenure of each of your properties.
“I urge Rightmove to ensure that property tenure is a basic and mandatory requirement of any property advertisement on its website.”
Rightmove told Property Eye: “There is a field where all agents can add the details of the tenure of a property in the description of their Rightmove listings and we encourage all of our estate agency customers to do this in line with the guidance from industry bodies.”
Sebastian O’Kelly, LKP CEO, comments:
The issue recalls the aims of the ill-fated Home Information Packs, that were introduced by new Labour and then scrapped. They exist, to consumers’ benefit, in Scotland.
Although the brilliant Conveyancing Association has been urging the return of something exactly the same for lease sales – having highlighted the assorted fiddles and eye-watering charges lease managers impose – it has not dared say that Home Information Packs were a very good idea and should be reintroduced.
Estate agents protested against them, and newspapers like the Daily Mail joined in – primarily to beat up the New Labour government.
In fact, they would have informed consumers of what they were buying upfront and cut out a good deal of the banditry in estate agency. With leasehold tenure, the Home Information Packs would have been invaluable.
As it happens, transactions of leasehold tenure are fraught with complications and many sales fall through as freeholders game the system to make some cash, or are just truculent and incompetent by nature.
In 2016, the Conveyancing Association reported “34 per cent of estate agents say leasehold sales are a ‘nightmare’ “
It is daft that the transaction of a £200,000 flat is more problematic than a £2.5 million house in Guildford.