On 19 September 2011, the OFT launched a consultation on draft guidance for two pieces of law:

- the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008; and

- the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008.

The consultation comes as a result of the OFT's Home Buying & Selling Market study, published in February 2010, which found that (as many in the industry are already aware) further understanding and guidance on the regulations has, in view of the absence of case law, been long outstanding.

This recent OFT consultation comes after the consultation by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the possibility of repealing the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 (PMA). The BIS is currently considering its response to the consultation. For those who were not already speculating that the PMA would be repealed, this fuels further speculation that this recent consultation by the OFT to clarify the guidance on the regulations is an indication that the PMA will be repealed, leaving the regulations in place to govern the area.

The guidance seeks to identify examples of trading practices that could breach the regulations as well as steps that businesses can take to comply with the law when they advertise for new business; advise new clients and take new instructions; market properties; negotiate and make sales; and deal with complaints.

To read the consultation document, please click here.