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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if the agent is insisting on including the information on advertising material for the property please?
Yes it is on the sales particulars which are on the website and also given out to people.
Thank you. Estate agents are falling victim to increased scrutiny and regulation by the OFT under new powers they acquired last year. They are now required to maintain much higher standards under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
This includes the need to inform buyers of relevant information regarding a property including flooding and not hide it. However there is no prescribed manner about how they do this. They do not have to include it in initial advertising material but they do need to disclose it at an early stage - the rules specifically state that handing a buyer some information at a late stage before contracts are signed is not sufficient.
Each estate agent is responsible for formulating its own policies for complying with the new rules. This agent clearly feels that it should be disclosing the information up front before viewings and this is their right. The rules do not specifically require this and it would be enough for the agents to disclose the information during or after a viewing but you cannot force the agent to operate differently
You can however vote with your feet and give notice to the current agency in accordance with your contract and look for a new agent that implements the rules differently so that the information is not included with the initial advertising material but is disclosed perhaps during or after a viewing.
If you want to familiarise yourself with the rules the agents now have to follow they can be found here:http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/estate-agents/OFT1364.pdf
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
Thank you for your help.
A pleasure. I hope you are able to persuade the agents towards a slightly more relaxed approach or alternatively find an alternative agent that is prepared to work with you better.
I will probably have to find a new agent. I really need to sell my house as we are planning to emigrate to Australia.
Flooding will inevitably put off buyers but if you can show 1) it happened a long time ago, has not flooded in the recent floods and in particular measures you have taken to mitigate flooding risk, then the impact should be able to be managed.
Thank you. I do not think it will flood again. the Environment Agency now clean the brook out every year and the council built a new bridge higher and wider as the problem was when the water could not get under the bridge and backed up. We still get insurance for flood so all in all I am quite positive about it not happening again and it did not flood this year which is definitely a plus. Lets hope I am now able to get some viewings.
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I have no further questions. Thank You