National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has published its opinion, developed with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), that the use of ‘POA’ or ‘price on application’ in property listings (principally sales listings) contravenes consumer protection legislation.
NTSELAT’s opinion is that the use of ‘POA’ or ‘price on application’ in relation to a listing on a property portal or an agent website is likely to be misleading as it withholds – or in some cases masks – the asking price from consumers. The property’s price is information which the average consumer needs in order to make an informed transactional decision, such as to make enquiries about the property, conduct further research or arrange a viewing.
NTSELAT Senior Manager, James Munro, said: “I am pleased to be able to provide a clear position that the use of ‘POA’ or ‘price on application’ in property listings is unlawful. I am grateful to colleagues, the CMA and legal experts for their input and we hope this clarity will be helpful for property portals and agents as they prepare their listings. This position will form part of our general industry advice and guidance moving forward.”
NTSELAT was asked by industry to provide a view on the use of POA as part of the ongoing process to improve the disclosure of material information on property listings.
An overview of the broader programme of work by NTSELAT, in partnership with industry, to define what constitutes material information for property listings can be found here. For general information about agents’ obligations under the Consumer Protection Regulations (CPRs), guidance for property sales and lettings is available here.