The OFT asked the firms to substantiate claims made in their adverts or change them – typical statements included that residents are able to live in properties for life after they have sold them, benefit from low rent or buy back their homes at any point.
The firms have agreed to stop or amend publicity:
* Six companies have taken down their websites – propertysaleforcash.com, myhomerescue.co.uk, UKsaleandrentback.com, skpropertysolutions.com, fullhouseuk.com and quicksalefast.co.uk;
* Three businesses no longer offer sale and rent back – n-and-b-property-buyers.co.uk, sell-your-house-quick-help.com, and rapidhomesale.org, and;
* Three firms’ websites have been amended – sell-quick.co.uk, nationalpropertybuyers.co.uk, and quickpurchase.co.uk.
This action follows a market study by the OFT which recommended that the sale and rentback sector was regulated.
One objective of the OFT’s action was to ensure that consumer protection enforcement was effective while the Government implemented the OFT’s recommendations. The FSA implemented an interim regime this month.
The OFT has drawn a further two firms to the Financial Services Authority’s attention.
Heather Clayton, OFT Senior Director of Consumer Protection, said: "The unsubstantiated claims used by some sale and rent back firms have been particularly concerning since they were targeting consumers suffering financial difficulties and at risk of losing their homes. We are pleased that these firms have agreed to change or remove their advertising."
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