There are obvious connotations around size that matters but in the world of land and property it really does matter.
On 1 October 2013 the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 was repealed to make way for two other pieces of legislation which regulate estate agents and other businesses involved in property sales and lettings: the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs). These make it a criminal offence for estate agents to make false or misleading statements about properties being offered for sale.
These legislative changes should not come as a huge surprise to anyone but its how you go about staying within the law. If you are selling a Four Bedroom detached house set in 4 acres of land, then that area measurement can’t just be a finger in the air estimation based on 20 years of experience or most likely because “that’s what the vendor said it was”…! It has to be correct, fact.
So how do you keep on the right side of the law? Using an online mapping tool, such as findmaps.co.uk, you can view detailed Ordnance Survey maps and measure property boundaries from the comfort of your own chair.
If you are unsure of the ownership boundaries it’s also good practice to purchase the Land Registry OC1 Title Register and Title Plan, both of which can be bought from findmaps.co.uk. Using the Land Registry plan you can plot your area on an up to date map which in turn will display accurate area measurements. You can also download your map so it can be included within the property brochure and any on-line marketing.
Protect yourself and get a useful map at the same time. Don’t end up in court like some have done for giving inaccurate and misleading information. You’ll be thousands of pounds out of pocket but the financial damage is the least of your worries. The cost to repair your tarnished reputation is harder to quantify and arguably much harder to fix.
This is of course the worst case scenario but you can not bury your head in the sand and plead ignorance. This is a very solvable problem by using modern technology.
Also the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team has prepared a draft of revised guidelines on property sales, to replace the old guidance issued by the now-defunct Office of Fair Trading. The guidance will help anyone related in the sale of property to comply with the (CPRs) & (BPRs). These are available here for review and comments are welcome.
Interested in finding out more about mapping and property data then call me, Christian Woodhouse on 020 3002 7441 or email [email protected]