Typical examples of the claims made in adverts by these 16 firms include:
Customers can choose to stay in their properties after they are sold, by renting them back as tenants for as long as they wish, at a fair market rate;
Customers can buy back their properties at an agreed point in the future, and;
Customers will have low rent periods and flexible rental terms.
The firms have been given 14 days to reply to these OFT notices. Based on their replies the OFT will make a decision on whether or not to take further action, against these firms, including prosecution.
This action follows a 2008 OFT market study into the sale and rent back sector which concluded that there was a need for statutory regulation. It found that some firms may be misleading consumers as to the value of their property or how long they may stay in the property after it is sold which may only be guaranteed for six to 12 months.
Heather Clayton OFT Senior Director of Consumer Protection said: "Sale and rent back companies must be clear and transparent about the services they offer and the security consumers have as tenants.
"Clarity of advertisements is particularly important in the sale and rent back sector where customers may be under stress from financial difficulties, at risk of losing their homes and making important and complicated decisions.
"The OFT will continue to take action in any cases where such businesses engage in unfair and misleading practices."
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