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Misleading rentback ad banned by ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned an advertisement by a sale and rentback provider for “misleading” claims that clients can stay in their homes for as long as required.

A complaint against Land & Property Bank was upheld by the ASA this week on the grounds that its ads in the regional press were likely to mislead consumers.

The ads ran under the headline “Cash Crisis?” with the byline “Exclusive by John Rea”, which the ASA says breaches the advertising code because the small print stating it was an advertisement rather than a piece of journalism was not prominent enough.

The ASA also found there was no evidence to substantiate Land & Property Bank’s claims that clients can stay in their homes as long as they require.

The ASA said that a letter from the rentback provider’s solicitors to this effect is not a sufficient guarantee of the length of tenancy. It also said that as longer tenancy agreements affected the purchase price of the property, the ad was likely to mislead by failing to mention this.

The ASA rejected the ad’s claim that a sale and rentback contract was “the simplest way to avoid repossession”.

It says: “We considered that the ad therefore could exaggerate the desirability of that option over and above other options, such as negotiating with a current mortgage provider, selling on the open market or – for older homeowners – using a regulated equity-release product, depending on circumstances.”

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