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Study reveals extent of incorrect property listings in UK

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When buying a home prospective sellers expect the details to be listed correctly but new research has found that 48per cent of houses in sale across the UK contain rooms that are listed incorrectly.

The analysis of estate agent data also found that 36per cent of single bedrooms rooms are technically too small to be classed as such for anyone aged over 10 and 17per cent of double rooms are not big enough to be inhabited by two people.

Liverpool has the most errors for single rooms with 69per cent 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.

According to Propertywire, Leeds has the most errors for double bedrooms with 14per cent 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 3per cent if single rooms did not meet the requirement and 4per cent of double rooms. Estate agents in Manchester and Glasgow were also pretty accurate.

The research also found that a further 6per cent 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 15per cent 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 66per cent of properties for sale in the city had at least one incorrectly listed bedroom. This is followed by Sheffield at 60per cent, Liverpool at 57per cent and Birmingham also at 57per cent. Estate agents in Edinburgh are by far the most honest overalls with only 17per cent 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.

Meanwhile, the annual rate of house growth in key cities in the UK has started to slow after 12 successive months of rising prices, according to the latest index figures to be published.

But there is some regional variation and house prices in large regional cities outside southern England continue to grow while those in London have seen a market slowdown, the Hometrack cities index shows.

Outside the south house price growth continues to hold steady at 7per cent to 8per cent per annum with no sign of an imminent slowdown. Aberdeen is also registering a slower rate of price falls compared to recent months with a decline of 8per cent compared to 10per cent the previous month.


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