Fair trading covers a wide area of consumer protection law such as:
- The Trade Descriptions Act
- Property Misdescriptions Act
- Consumer Credit Act
- other Acts of Parliament
The primary purpose of this type of legislation is to ensure 'truthfulness of trade' thus preventing consumers being misled during contractual negotiations for goods and services.
Trade Descriptions Act 1968
The Act ensures that descriptions applied to goods and services are accurate and has been used successfully to fight common problems such as car 'clocking' and product counterfeiting. Its scope is very wide and also covers descriptions applied in all areas of trade.
Property Misdescriptions Act 1991
This Act is designed to regulate estate agents or property developers from falsely describing or making misleading statements in relation to land. This includes falsely describing the address and location of a property, room sizes, easements and maintenance charges.
Consumer Credit Act 1974
This Act is designed to regulate those businesses or individuals who offer credit facilities to consumers so that there is 'truth in lending' and covers areas such as advertising, loans, mortgages and other credit transactions.
We aim to ensure that:
- credit is fairly provided
- goods, services and property are not misdescribed
- holidays and timeshare accommodation are not misrepresented
- prices are correctly displayed and do not mislead
- traders do not sell counterfeit goods
- steps are taken to end unfair trading practices
- terms in consumer contracts are fair
Fair trading advice from Trading Standards
Further information is available from the Office of Fair Trading website. The website has two purposes:
- to protect consumers and explain their rights
- to ensure that businesses compete and operate fairly.
You can find essential information for businesses on how to comply with legislation enforced by the Office of Fair Trading, check advice on consumer issues, follow the progress of investigations and action taken, or simply download the leaflets and reports.
You can also find out more about Tower Hamlets and trading standards at your local Trading Standards office.
Citizens Advice provides clear, practical, impartial advice to help consumers sort out problems and disagreements they may be having with suppliers of goods or services.
Visit the Citizens Advice website
Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI)
Provides full text of Acts of Parliament from 1988, plus access to Info route, the Government's Information Asset Register.
Visit the OPSI website
How to contact us
For information contact:
Mulberry Place (AH)
PO Box 55739
5 Clove Crescent
Tel: 020 7364 5000