Birmingham Trading Standards Announces Mystery Shopping Exercise Results

Trading Standards of Birmingham City Council today announced the results of a mystery shopping exercise among estate agents and HIP providers conducted by Trading Standards which was supported by PCCB.

PCCB welcomes the publication of these results which reveal that HIP and Search Code subscriber products are the most reliable and accurate in the market and reinforces the results of ongoing compliance testing published in January.

The audit, which was carried out at the end of last year, is the most comprehensive enforcement exercise undertaken by any Trading Standards department nationwide. Over a quarter of the city's estate agents were targeted in the exercise and 37 HIP and Search Report contents were scrutinised for accuracy, reliability and completeness by the PCCB. Two estate agents were unable to produce a HIP for properties they were marketing and have been issued with fixed penalty notices and referred to the OFT for failing to comply with the regulations.

In summary, 7 out of 10 packs met or exceeded levels of good practice and compliance levels were significantly higher for packs produced by HIP Code subscribers with around 9 out of 10 firms 'ticking all the boxes'.

The full Birmingham Press Release can be viewed at;

The full Report can be viewed at: