National Trading Standards - Updating property listings

Chris Horroll
Chris Horroll
  • Updated

From 31 May 2022, all estate agent websites and property portals need to start including extra ‘material information’ on their UK residential property listings. These changes are in line with new guidance set by National Trading Standards, who want to increase clarity for consumers on the properties they’re looking to buy or rent.

‘Material information’ is defined as the information an average consumer needs to make an informed transactional decision. National Trading Standards state that in the case of buying or renting a property, a ‘transactional decision’ includes the decision to view a property, as well as the decision to buy or rent one.

This article includes:

What needs to be included in property listings under the new guidance?

The new guidance is being introduced in three stages, referred to as Part A, Part B and Part C.

The list below shows the information that needs to be provided to comply with ‘Part A’ of the guidelines. We’ve made changes to the way you upload listings, and what we display on our consumer portal, by introducing new fields to capture and display ‘Part A’ information, helping you to stay compliant.

Sales

  • Sale Price (£)
  • Council tax band (England, Wales and Scotland), Domestic rate (Northern Ireland)
  • Tenure (freehold, leasehold, leasehold - share of freehold, commonhold)
  • Length of lease (years remaining)
  • Annual ground rent amount (£)
  • Ground rent review period (year)
  • Annual service charge amount (£)
  • Service charge review period (year/month)
  • Shared Ownership (% share being sold, rent amount, rent frequency)

Lettings

  • Price - rent (£)
  • Council tax band (England, Wales and Scotland), Domestic rate (Northern Ireland)
  • Deposit (£)

(More information on each stage is available here)

Adding/updating property listings within Alto

Estate agents are responsible for submitting material information on all new and existing UK residential property listings. You’ll need to include it along with the property listings information you already share with us.

New and existing listings need to be updated with Part A information from 31 May 2022 – for both sales and lettings. This includes properties that are sold subject to contract (SSTC). It does not include overseas or non-residential properties.

 Note

  • If Part A information is missing, National Trading Standards may get in touch with you if your listings don’t comply with the new guidance
  • If you're a ZooplaPro user, use the dedicated unique fields to provide ‘Part A’ information on your listings, which can be found on the Add residential property page (via Add listing) and the Edit residential property page

Within Alto, we've made some updates to the fields on the Property record where you can add/update all the required information, ensuring your property listings remain compliant.  

Sales

Council tax band

You need to select a council tax band for all your properties.
For more information on checking a property's council tax band, click here.

  1. Click Properties on the main toolbar
  2. Select the relevant property from Recent & Favourite Properties
    1. Alternatively, find the property using the Search Properties bar in the top right
  3. Click Property on the side menu
  4. Click the Property top tab
  5. In the About the Property section, ensure a council Tax Band has been selected from the dropdown menu (bands A-I are applicable to properties in England, Wales and Scotland)
    1. If the property is a new build and hasn't had its council tax band assigned, select New Build - rate not available yet
    2. If the property is located in Northern Ireland, select Northern Ireland - Domestic Rates. The Domestic Rate field will become visible - ensure a rate is entered (£)
    3. If the property is exempt, select Exempt. The Exemption Reason field will become visible - ensure an exemption reason is entered. The reason for exemption will get published to Zoopla
  6. Click Save

Sales_-_Council_tax_band.png

Sale Price/Qualifier

You need to provide the sale price for all your properties.

You may also need to amend the price qualifier in order to meet the National Trading Standards rules.

  1. Click Properties on the main toolbar
  2. Select the relevant property from Recent & Favourite Properties
    1. Alternatively, find the property using the Search Properties bar in the top right
  3. Click Property on the side menu
  4. Click the Marketing top tab
  5. In the Sale Information section, ensure a Sale Price (£) has been entered
  6. If the Qualifier is currently set as POA/Price on application, you'll need to select a different option as this can no longer be used
  7. Click Save

Sales_-_Price_%2B_POA.png

Tenure/Shared ownership/Length of lease/Annual ground rent amount/Ground rent review period/Annual service charge amount

You need to provide the tenure for all your properties.

In addition, properties with a lease or those sold as part of the Shared ownership scheme need extra details.

 Note

  • If the property Tenure is currently set as Not specified, you'll need to select a new option that meets the new National Trading Standards rules
  • If the Annual Ground Rent and Annual Service Charge isn't currently in a numerical format, you'll need to amend it accordingly. This will allow us to display it on the portals and meet the new National Trading Standards rules
  1. Click Properties on the main toolbar
  2. Select the relevant property from Recent & Favourite Properties
    1.  Alternatively, find the property using the Search Properties bar in the top right
  3. Click Property on the side menu
  4. Click the Marketing top tab
  5. In the Sale Information section, ensure a Tenure has been selected from the dropdown menu (Freehold, Leasehold, Leasehold - Share of Freehold, Flying Freehold or Commonhold)
    1. If Leasehold or Leasehold - Share of Freehold is selected, the Shared ownership section is visible.
      Tick if the property is Shared Ownership. Ensure you enter the Ownership Share (% share being sold), the Rent amount (£) and select the Rent Frequency for the remaining share
    2. If Leasehold or Leasehold - Share of Freehold is selected, the Lease Details section is visible.
      Ensure you enter the Years Remaining. You may also want to enter the Lease Term, From, to, and End Date
    3. Ensure you enter the Annual Ground Rent amount (£)
    4. Ensure you tick if the ground rent is fixed for the tenancy term (Fixed for Term), enter the Ground rent Review Period (years) and enter the Ground Rent Increase (%)
    5. Ensure you enter the Annual Service Charge amount (£)
  6. Click Save

Sales_-_tenure__lease__shared.png

Lettings

Council tax band

You need to select a council tax band for all your properties.
For more information on checking a property's council tax band, click here.

  1. Click Properties on the main toolbar
  2. Select the relevant property from Recent & Favourite Properties
    1. Alternatively, find the property using the Search Properties bar in the top right
  3. Click Property on the side menu
  4. Click the Property top tab
  5. In the About the Property section, ensure a council Tax Band has been selected from the dropdown menu (bands A-I are applicable to properties in England, Wales and Scotland)
    1. If the property is a new build and hasn't had its council tax band assigned, select New Build - rate not available yet
    2. If the property is located in Northern Ireland, select Northern Ireland - Domestic Rates. The Domestic Rate field will become visible - ensure a rate is entered (£)
    3. If the property is exempt, select Exempt. The Exemption Reason field will become visible - ensure an exemption reason is entered. The reason for exemption will get published to Zoopla
  6. Click Save
Price - rent/Deposit

You need to provide the rental price and security deposit for all your properties.

  1. Click Properties on the main toolbar
  2. Select the relevant property from Recent & Favourite Properties
    1. Alternatively, find the property using the Search Properties bar in the top right
  3. Click Property on the side menu
  4. Click the Marketing top tab
  5. In the Rental Information section, ensure a rental Price (£) has been entered
  6. Ensure a security Deposit (£) has been entered. This is what new tenants will be charged at the beginning of their contract
  7. Click Save

Lettings_-_rent__deposit__term.png

 

 Did you know...

We've also introduced a compliance checklist within the Property side menu tab. If you click Open guide, you'll be guided through the requirements and be informed on what to update, without needing to leave Alto

Feeds

If your website or property portal consumes one of the following feeds, we recommend that you discuss the new changes with your website developer, ahead of implementing the new feed version.

Please see the relevant .pdf document which outlines what you need to do to receive the new fields.

  • BLM feed - Click here to view a .pdf document which outlines the new changes that will enable your website developer to implement the new feed version.
    Please contact Support to be switched over to the new feed - To do so, click Submit a request below and complete the contact form
  • Client API feed - Click here to view a .pdf document which outlines the new changes that will enable your website developer to implement the new feed version.
    You don't need to contact Support to upgrade to the new feed
  • CSV feed - Please upgrade your feed to either our Client API feed or our BLM feed.
    We recommend you discuss which feed to upgrade to with your website developer first. Then, please contact Support to be switched over to the relevant feed. To do so, click Submit a request below and complete the contact form

FAQs

We’ve also pulled together a list of frequently asked questions to help you get to grips with the new requirements:

  • What other changes are in the pipeline?

We’ll update you when we know more. Once the details for Part B and Part C have been agreed, we’ll share next steps. (More information on Parts A, B and C is available here)

  • What if I don’t have all Part A information yet? Can I still list a property?

National Trading Standards requires all Part A information to be available from 31 May 2022. While we don't have any plans to de-list properties, National Trading Standards may get in touch with you if your listings don't comply with the new guidance.

  • Will Zoopla de-list my property if any Part A information is missing?

We don’t have any plans to de-list properties, but National Trading Standards may get in touch with you if your listings don’t comply with the new guidance.

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