New Regulations and Agent’s Terms of Business

The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 came into force on 28 December 2009 and apply to all United Kingdom jurisdictions. These were brought into force to comply with the EU Service Directive which required compliance by (strangely) 28 December 2009.

The main effect of these regulations is to require that certain information is made available to users of services in the UK. A large number of services are covered by the regulations including lettings and estate agency and solicitors. While there are a number of ways that this information can be provided it is probably easiest for it to be put into the Terms of Business.

Key information that is required is:

  1. Business name and the status of the business (eg. partnership, limited company, sole trader etc.)
  2. A business address and full contact details (this is partly to deal with internet businesses who wilfully make their business details obscure)
  3. Registration details of any entry in a trade or public register and any statutorily required registrations (for agents this will mean details of their OEA and OFT registrations)
  4. There is also a general requirement to make clear your charges and the other terms on which services are provided.

Some information must also be made available on request. This includes:

  1. The price being charged for the services provided or where that price is not available the method of calculation
  2. Information on any code of conduct to which the supplier is held

Information required under the regulations must be provided in a clear and unambiguous manner and must be available before the contract is concluded.

There is no direct offence of failure to comply with the regulations. However, the Office of Fair Trading, local Trading Standards officers, and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (in Northern Ireland) have the power to take action for a breach of the regulations.

The Department for Business Information and Skills has provided guidance on the regulations.

PainSmith Solicitors are able to supply updated terms of business which are fully compliant with the regulations.

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