Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for property

This terms and conditions template is for a website that advertises real property such as residential property, commercial property or holiday lets. You might be an estate agent, or offer a advertising service that connects sellers and buyers or landlords and tenants. These T&C are strong on intellectual property and protection of your site from malicious use.

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About this terms and conditions document

This is a set of terms and conditions 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 your site might bring together agents, buyers and sellers or landlords and tenants.

Examples of websites for which this template could be used include those that advertise:

  • residential or commercial property for sale or for let;
  • estate agents or letting agents advertising property on their website;
  • holiday accommodation to let;
  • home exchanges (either permanent or for holiday purposes);
  • flat and house shares (rooms to rent in shared property);
  • 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 be advertise their property on your site, these terms also form a contract with other site visitors - particularly important if you allow visitors to contribute information to your site (such as becoming a registered user, or posting comments on blogs or forums)

The benefit of clear terms and conditions

Website terms and conditions are probably the best example of a legal document where use of plain language 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 this document on your website will help you to:

  • set out clearly how your business works and how buyers should act and behave;
  • ensure that sellers and buyers receive the quality of service that you aim to provide;
  • present a professional image of your business. Our use of plain language helps 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 post product information or 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. See Website terms and conditions template: bed and breakfast business.

The law in this document

The law in these T&C is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, price and payment, 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 business works. Our guidance notes tell you what you can and cannot change safely.

This template complies with the Fair Trading Act 1986, the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 as amended, and other latest consumer protection legislation allowing you to sell to businesses or consumers.

Contents of this terms and conditions

Because buyers are likely to contribute content to your site (such as product reviews, forum posts and comments) we have included a large menu of provisions relating to user contributed content within the sections that form an Acceptable Use Policy.

The terms and conditions template includes provisions that cover:

  • Interpretation
  • Basis of contract: terms under which a contract is formed
  • 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

Over 3,000 words of drafting notes to help you.

Draftsman

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current New Zealand law.

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