Agents selling new homes for developers are being issued with a consumer code created by a collection of agency and housebuilding organisations.
It seeks to ensure that buyers of new homes “are treated fairly and are fully informed about their purchase before and after they sign the contract”. It applies to buyers who reserve to buy a new or newly converted home built by a home builder registered with NHBC, Premier Guarantee or LABC warranty companies.
The code is the product of collaboration between the National House Building Council, the Construction Employers’ Federation, the House Builders Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Federation of Master Builders, the Home Builders’ Federation and several warranty insurance companies.
The code covers a wide range of points, most of which are undertaken already by the best agents.
This includes point-of-sale requirements such as having clear sales and advertising material; pre-contract information such as written explanations of warranty cover and a clear description of management charges; plus the availability of a plan showing the layout, appearance and plot position of any properties for sale but not yet completed.
The code also covers exchange of contact terms and conditions, making clear to buyers what cancellation rights exist, and issues such as extra work which may be required by a purchaser at additional cost.
Construction, completion and handover processes are also set out in the code, along with the requirement for an agent to explain a clear complaints and disputes procedure and the need for agency staff to cooperate with other professional advisors in the event of a dispute being raised by a customer.
The documents explaining the code and its repurcussions for agents, customers and house builders themselves are lengthy and available online from www.consumercodeforhomebuilders.com.
- Estate Agent
- Newbuild homes
- Consumer Code
Cotswolds specialist Butler Sherborn is expanding into the lucrative Oxford city market.
The firm, which currently has offices in Cirencester, Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold, is joining forces with Kemp & Kemp Residential to create a business that will offer residential sales, lettings and management services as well as land and new homes investment plus consultancies in renewable energy, equestrian and farms and estates.
The enlarged network will operate under the Butler Sherborn brand.
“Given its status as an internationally renowned city, Oxford is hugely strategic for us, and under the Butler Sherborn brand we will be able to build both a significant urban and rural presence” says Sam Butler, senior partner and founder of Butler Sherborn.
Gavin West, managing director of the former Kemp & Kemp Residential, says: “This will help transform our previous business into a much more sophisticated and broad-based organisation. Both firms have long established reputations and [are] noted for providing a ‘local’ and serious alternative to the national agency brands. This is a rare and exciting opportunity to create something with such potential.”
- Estate Agent
- Butler Sherborn
- Kemp & Kemp
HM Revenue and Customs has set out new guidelines on money laundering regulations now it has taken over supervision of estate agents from the defunct Office of Fair Trading.
The guidance will come as little surprise to most agents but it reiterates that agents must register with HMRC if they conduct work under section one of the Estate Agents Act 1979.
This type of work includes, for example:
- sending out property particulars and arranging viewings;
- offering personal advice to potential sellers or buyers;
- receiving and fielding queries from potential sellers or buyers and passing on details to customers;
- providing an energy performance certificate or arranging for it to be provided;
- providing a property valuation;
- providing a plan of a property and taking photographs;
- providing clients with a ‘For Sale’ board which contains agency contact details.
You don’t need to register if you’re a letting agent, an auctioneer already listed with the HMRC as a so-called High Value Dealer or - interestingly - if you are a solicitor carrying on estate agency work as part of that practice as a solicitor but not as a separate business.
If you qualify to register but fail to do so it is an offence. The full guidelines are on www.gov.uk/registration-guide-for-estate-agency-businesses?
You can get further information by email on email@example.com or by phone on 0300 200 3700 or by post at:
HMRC Anti Money Laundering Supervision, Alexander House, 21 Victoria Avenue, Southend on Sea, SS99 1AG
- Money laundering
- Estate Agent
Three agents have joined Network Auctions, bringing the network to 50.
The newbies are Goodchilds in the Midlands, which has a network of 16 offices, Haigh & Sons in Bristol, along with Hill & Clark which has offices in the Lincolnshire towns of Boston, Spalding and Holbeach.
Goodchilds managing director David Warke says: “We've been looking at offering an auction service for some time but it was very important to us to join forces with a like-minded organisation where the strength of our brand could be maintained and built upon.”
Haigh & Sons owner Martin Haigh is adding auctions to his existing sales and lettings business. “We feel that with auctions growing in popularity as a method of sale that the time is right for us to join" he says.
Hill & Clark local director Jill Kirby comments that “being Network Auctions’ partner complements our established sales, lettings, block management and commercial activities.”
The latest recruits are the results of a bid by Network Auctions to develop a national network of estate agents keen to have an additional income stream through auctions.
- Estate Agent
- Auction Network
- Haigh & Sons
- Hill & Clark
The first part of the week was coming down from the Conference. The second part of the week for me was dominated by doing the podcast with Alan Ward.
I am using a new system called webinarjam which is based on Google Hangouts. Needless to say 20 minutes before we were due to start my PC crashed and I had to use my macbook.
So that put me on the wrong foot and I was a bit rubbish – Alan of course was superb and gave a really interesting interview.
I have also signed up to a new system (called Libsyn) for hosting the podcasts as feedburner is a bit limited, so I have also had to get my head around that – setting it up and changing my feed in iTunes etc.
Its a good system though with some interesting features – watch this space!
But what happened on the blog?Monday
Looking to the future, this is about some services we have for people who want to learn more about the legal side of renting property. Find out more here …Tuesday
I was so excited to get the photos from our brilliant photographer Phil Smithies – they really capture the feeling of the day. Take a look at them here …Wednesday
This is a blog clinic question and is a problem that probably often happens when you buy an investment property with a sitting tenant. Find out more here …Thursday
I bet a lot of landlords say this. See what I had to say about it here …
This is the audio podcast I created from the live interview that took place with Alan. Alan had some interesting things to say and I highly recommend that you listen to the podcast. FInd it here …Friday
Ben is looking around for a stab vest, while musing on million dollar studio flats, bad landlords and Councillors working up to the election. Read it all here …
- Worrying news that new costs rules will make after the event insurance policies unworkable for claims against the police
- A career criminal guts a flat – one reason why careful tenant vetting is a good idea …
- Is fining property owners for leaving property empty a good idea? The Guardian asks for your vote …
- Take a look at the Landlord Law Conference 2014 photo show in flickr (not reading exactly although you can read the captions)
Keep up with the news with me on twitter, Google+ and the Landlord Law Facebook page
>> Click here to get the weekly roundups sent direct to your email in box every week – the easy way to keep up with whats happening on the blog.
This is my interview with Alan Ward who is the Chair of the Residential Landlords Association.
I was intrigued to learn, while talking to Alan, that not only is he a landlord – he has also built properties to rent as well. As you will hear, he believes that more landlords should do this, and has some interesting ideas about how this can be done.
We also talked about accreditation – whether it is worthwhile, and also about how regulations should best be enforced. Whether via a landlords register or some other method.
I really enjoyed my chat with Alan and I am sure you will enjoy listening to it. You can listen to it on the player below:Note that you can also find us on itunes >> here. >> Click here to be kept informed of new Landlord Law Live events
Confused by podcasts? See our >> podcast guide.
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