Research reveals extent of incorrect property listings in UK

When buying a home prospective sellers expect the details to be listed correctly but new research has found that 48% of houses in sale across the UK contain rooms that are listed incorrectly. The analysis of estate agent data also found that 36% of single bedrooms rooms are technically too small to be classed as such for anyone aged over 10 and 17% of double rooms are not big enough to be inhabited by two people. Liverpool has the most errors for single rooms with 69% listed not meeting size requirements as set out by the Housing Act 1985 which says that a child under the age of 10 can occupy a room which is less than 50 square feet because they are classed as ‘half a person’, however a single bedroom should have a floor space of between 50 and 70 square feet. Leeds has the most errors for double bedrooms with 14% listed as such not meeting the requirements that double bedrooms for two people should be at least 110 square feet. One property in the city even listed a 69 square foot room as a double bedroom. The city with the least errors is Edinburgh where just 3% if single rooms did not meet the requirement and 4% of double rooms. Estate agents in Manchester and Glasgow were also pretty accurate. The research also found that a further 6% of rooms across the UK are technically uninhabitable, containing rooms smaller than the 50 square feet legally required to be classified as a single bedroom. Estate agents in Sheffield are guiltiest of this, with 15% of single bedrooms rooms advertised being too small to be habitable. When looking at properties overall, estate agents in Bristol are the most inaccurate, as 66% of properties for sale in the city had at least one incorrectly listed bedroom. This is followed by Sheffield at 60%, Liverpool at 57% and Birmingham also at 57%. Estate agents in Edinburgh are by far the most honest overall with only 17% of properties in the Scottish capital containing incorrect room listings. ‘Anyone who has purchased a property knows the marketing literature can often be misleading, but it is concerning to see so many properties across the UK being marketed by estate agents as having single and double bedrooms which technically aren’t fit for purpose,’ said Nick Brabham, head of SELECT Premier Insurance which carried out the research. ‘We urge buyers to check the measurements of bedrooms before putting in an offer on a house; otherwise they may find their double bedroom barely has enough space for a bed. It’s easy to think a room looks big enough when there is no furniture in it so if in doubt, check against the official standards and let estate agents know that they are marketing it incorrectly,’ he added. Continue reading

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