Website terms and conditions template

Marketplace for property
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Document overview

These are terms for a website that advertises residential or commercial property for sale or lease, or holiday lets. It is suitable for letting agencies, estate agents and other sites that connect sellers and buyers or landlords and tenants.
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  • Length:20 pages (5400 words)
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About this document

This is a set of terms that can be easily adapted for your property advertising website.

You might be an estate agent or letting agent advertising your clients' properties on your site, or it might bring together agents, buyers and sellers or landlords and tenants.

For example, your website might promote:

  • residential or commercial properties for sale or for let

  • estate agents or letting agents who list properties on their own websites

  • holiday accommodation to let

  • home exchanges (either permanent or for holiday purposes)

  • flat and house shares (rooms to rent in shared accommodation)

  • other land or property for sale or let (such as garage space, parking or storage space)

As well as forming a contract with customers who pay you to advertise on your site, these terms also bind other registered visitors who might post content.

The benefit of clear terms

Website T&C are probably the best example of a legal document where use of plain English strengthens the legal effect of the document. If a dispute should arise, it would be hard for a user of your site to claim that he did not understand, even if English is not his first language.

Using these terms on your website will help you to:

  • set out clearly how you operate

  • ensure that sellers and buyers receive the quality of service that you aim to provide

  • present a professional image. Our use of plain English helps to ensure that sellers do not feel intimidated by overly formal or legalistic language

  • prevent misunderstandings and make solving disputes easier

  • protect your website from misuse (we include paragraphs that set out exactly how buyers can interact with your website, and what they cannot do)

  • protect your business from complaints about content that your buyers posted - particularly important if buyers can interact with sellers without you actively monitoring every post or message

Alternative templates

While these terms include provision for taking payment on your website in return for listing or advertising a property, they do not cover your site taking payment on behalf of a third party (for example, between a client landlord and his tenant for monthly rent payments for a holiday house let).

You may want to look at our set of terms and conditions for sites that act as a marketplace for services and that take payment for sellers.

The law in this document

The law in these T&C is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, provision of service, liabilities and risk. By and large, you can set the terms you want, particularly the commercial ones. The document should be edited so that it reflects exactly how your service works. Our guidance notes tell you what you can and cannot change safely.

Sales of real property are excluded from the Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations, but intermediaries like estate agents are not. Neither do the Regulations exclude the application of the Estate Agents Act. This document has been drawn so as to cover most forms of property introduction. This is explained in the extensive drafting notes.

Contents

Because your visitors are likely to interact with your site (such as creating personalised alerts or posting their requirements to which others may respond) we have included a large menu of provisions within the sections that you can tailor to form an Acceptable Use Policy.

Provisions also include:

  • Interpretation
  • Basis of contract: terms under which a contract is formed
  • Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013
  • Price
  • Renewal payments
  • Credit card security
  • Data use
  • Restrictions on what may be posted to your website
  • Terms for property sellers
  • Removal of offensive content
  • Security of the website
  • Storage of data
  • Termination
  • Interruption to services
  • Intellectual property
  • Warnings and explanations
  • Disclaimers and limitation of liability
  • Indemnities
  • Miscellaneous legal matters to protect your business

Additionally, there are over 3,000 words of drafting notes to help you edit the document to your exact business model.

Sample website terms and conditions templateSample page from the website terms for a property marketplace

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