Skip to content

What is material information?

The definition of material information is from the Consumer Protection Regulations 2008 and states the following:

“any information which the average consumer needs in order to make an informed transactional decision”

In general terms, this means that a consumer (for estate and letting agents this is anyone who wishes to view a property that is on the market or who wishes to make an offer to buy or rent a property) must be given all of the information about the said property that would impact them positively or negatively in viewing or securing a property.  Right from the outset, we must give all applicants registering with Wills and Smerdon for a property, everything that they should know.  We always say “what would we want to know about that property?” and we will include all of that information in our property details.

What information should be included?

National trading standards have given a minimum guideline, however, you must disclose any other factors which are relevant to the CPRs.

For sales listings, Part A information includes:

  • Council Tax band or domestic rate information;
  • Purchase price;
  • Tenure (freehold, leasehold, commonhold).

For lettings listings, Part A information includes:

  • Council Tax band or domestic rate information;
  • Rent;
  • Details of any deposit(s) payable.

What about EPCs (energy performance certificates)?

It is already a legal requirement that the EPC rating for the property should be disclosed on the listing (unless exempt). Where there is already a valid EPC it would be expected that the rating is included when the listing is first published. This can be obtained from the online EPC Register, which is here for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If there is not a valid EPC for the property, one must be commissioned before the property is marketed. As the relevant legislation allows for a period of time for the EPC to be obtained the EPC rating has not been included in the published list of material information at this time. We must ensure that we receive your property EPC in line with the current timescales and where an EPC has not been commissioned in accordance with the respective legislation, action can be taken in the form of a financial penalty.

What deposit information must be shown?

If you are renting or letting a property with Wills and Smerdon then you must do so in line with the Tenant Fees Act 2019:

  • a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than 5 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is less than £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
  • a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than 1 week’s rent