Fair trading

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.

Our aims

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

Further information

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

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:

Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
E1 1BJ

Email: tradingstandards@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Tel: 020 7364 5000