Broadband information may soon be legally required on property listings
A huge change is on the horizon for property listings with regards to broadband cover. The National Trading Standards – Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT), says it is considering updating material information rules for home lettings to ensure they include information on broadband and mobile coverage. This would mean estate agents must disclose whether or not a property has the capability for Full Fibre broadband.
If it goes ahead, this will be a landmark ruling for developers, estate agents, and anyone involved in property. At present, estate agents are not required to include details on broadband and mobile coverage on listings, unlike the rules which state they must include information about energy and water utilities.
Why does this mean for developers?
This ruling would demonstrate how fast, reliable internet is now considered to be the 4th utility in UK homes, making it as important as electricity, gas and water supplies.
Currently, property listings legally have to include ‘material information’. This is considered information that is crucial to the potential buyer or tenant to know, including floor plans, fees and photos, as well as the aforementioned information on energy supplies.
James Munro, Head of the NTSELAT, said of the potential ruling: “We are saying we need to know things about a property that would be unconventional. Is broadband speed or mobile signal material information? I went to look at a lovely property but my wife and I couldn’t get signal on our phones and there was none on my work phone.
“That sounds idyllic but is a serious issue. We would say we cannot live there as we can’t do anything about it.”
Even if the ruling does not go ahead, developers will now need to be aware that for NTSELAT to even consider the decision shows that access to fast, reliable broadband is now being seen as essential by home buyers and renters.