Regulations you must follow when dealing with customers

Regulations you must follow when dealing with customers

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs).

Our guidance on property sales and lettings

  • helps property agents to comply with the CPRs and the BPRs
  • focusses on activities related to the sale or letting of property and land within the UK

If your marketing of property or services could reach consumers or business customers in the UK, these regulations apply regardless of:

  • which country you're based in
  • which country the property for sale or let is located in

The guidance applies to you if, as part of your business, you:

  • supply marketing or other services related to the sale or letting of property or land, for example if you’re: 
    • an estate agent
    • a buyers' agent
    • an internet property retailer
    • a property auctioneer
    • a letting agent 
    • a property management agent
    • a solicitor offering services that count as estate agency or lettings agency work
  • sell or let property or land, for example if you're a property developer that markets and sells your own developments
  • buy property or land for resale, for example if:
    • you're a company that buys up below market value property as an investment opportunity
    • you provide a service related to any of the above

The guidance gives examples of the kinds of unfair trading practices or conduct that may breach CPRs and BPRs. 

It includes:

  • what you need to do when marketing a property
  • how to avoid making misleading statements 
  • how to make sure you give your clients all the information they need
  • some practical steps you may want to take to comply with the law  

You should read and understand the guidance so you can comply with the law and treat consumers, business customers and competitors properly. 

The guidance isn’t a substitute for the law. You may need independent legal advice. 
 
You should:  

  • consider how the regulations apply to your property business  
  • if necessary, make changes to your business practices, and  
  • make sure that your staff understand the regulations and comply with them, as your business may be held responsible for their actions

If you don’t comply with the CPRs or BPRs

If you don’t comply with the CPRs and BPRs, you may face enforcement action.  

Several consumer enforcement bodies, for example local authority Trading Standards Services or the Competition and Markets Authority, enforce these regulations.  

Formal enforcement action isn’t taken automatically. Enforcers must promote compliance by the most appropriate means. This can range from helping the business meet their legal obligations with guidance and assistance, through to formal enforcement action.

Read our guidance on property sales and lettings for more information on enforcement action under the CPRs and BPRs.

Other consumer protection legislation

When dealing with consumers you need to comply with trading standards and consumer protection legislation, including:

The Business Companion has free and impartial information for businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards and consumer protection legislation.