Government waives estate agent rules to help property start-ups

WEBSITES that host adverts for private property sales will no longer be subject to estate agency regulations, the government announced yesterday.

The change in policy is designed to make it easier for homeowners to contact purchasers directly through start-up websites by reducing the regulatory burden.

At the moment such websites are legally responsible for ensuring that all property adverts are accurate under rules aimed at professional estate agents.

But the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills intends to remove this requirement for intermediaries that do not play an active role in the sales process.

Newly appointed consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson said the changes will “cut through bureaucracy and allow people to buy and sell more easily”.

“These intermediaries help buyers and sellers contact each other at a low cost, but don’t engage in other estate agent activities, so it’s unfair to expect them to go out and check all the property details of all the sellers on their websites.”

“Reducing the regulations for these businesses will open up the market and increase choices for consumers looking to save costs when buying or selling a property.”