Rightmove has made the first move among the big portals to make property tenure details quasi-mandatory within listings.
From early July onwards agents will either have to include tenure details within each listing, or face having a mandatory line inserted into their listings prompting house hunters to ask the agents for more details.
The initiative follows the start of a consultation by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team to consultation on the basic ‘material information’ that agents should be uploading to portals ahead of new guidance due to be issued later this year.
Until July, Rightmove is encouraging agents to check over the next two months that they are displaying the tenure of a property within the field provided on listings for all of their residential properties for sale.
The tenure will display in the usual way if it has been added by the agent in the field provided in their software or when uploading it to Rightmove manually.
Approximately, 70% of listings already include information in this field and Rightmove would like to help get this to 100%.
The portal says that, since December last year, Rightmove has been speaking to those datafeed providers who don’t currently provide tenure as a field for agents and will continue to contact them before the change is made.
Rightmove’s Legal and Compliance Director David Cox (pictured) says: “We’ve had a lot of feedback from users that they want to see tenure information before they view a property.
“The vast majority of agents already display tenure on their listings using the field provided, and so we want to hear from those agents who don’t if there are any challenges in sourcing this information or in providing the data in the field in their software before we introduce the change in two months’ time.”
Sean Hooker (pictured), Head of Redress at the PRS and who was involved in framing the NTSELAT ongoing consultation, says he’s encouraged that Rightmove has committed to greater market transparency and that, while overall the portals have been proactive in developing the tools for agents to provide comprehensive and detailed information, “the onus is still on agents to be upfront and take responsibility for the content they provide,” he says.