These terms and conditions set out the terms under which Houzen UK Limited (“Platform”) operates Xchange, a website at https://houzen.co.uk/agents/ (the “Site”). By accessing the Site you acknowledge (i) that you have read and that you have agreed to be bound by these conditions and to follow them at all times, and (ii) that you intend these terms and conditions to be the legal equivalent of a signed, written document and equally binding. If you have any questions please let us know by contacting us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. if we don’t hear from you within 30 days of signing the contract, we would assume you have no further questions and fully understand the terms and conditions as presented herewith.
GDPR special primer: All Site initiated listings, transactions, landlord, seller, developer, applicant and property related communication, whether conducted online on the Site or offline post initiation on different modes of communication such as emails, phone calls, meetings would be subject to the GDPR data protection rules (as mentioned below): – Under GDPR, “Customers” defined as Landlords, Sellers, Buyers and Tenant, have a right to find a Data Trail on any information that may be personal to them, or related to the property, or related to the lettings or sales process. Any “Supplier” defined as Houzen UK the “Platform”, Xchange.com the “Site” and any of the “Agents” which the Platform or the Site works with are responsible for producing this data trail and transparency. Anyone uploading a Lead on the Site or the Platform automatically qualifies as a Supplier and becomes responsible for maintaining a data transparency and traceability trail for Customers in order to duly adhere to the GDPR regulations.
The “Instructed Agent” (Agent who uploads the property Lead on the Site) would have data ownership of the listing (the “Lead”). This means that the Instructed Agent has the primary ownership of the relationship with Landlords or Sellers, and has the primary responsibility of all data related to the property, the landlord or seller, the let or sales process etc. The Instructed Agent must prompt the Supplying Agent(s) to communicate entirely on the Site in order to create and maintain data transparency and traceability.
The “Supplying Agent” would be responsible to protect all the information provided to them whether “Online” through the Site or via any “Offline” modes of communication such as whatsapp, emails, phone calls and in-person meetings. The Supplying Agent must prompt the Instructed Agent to initiate and consistently exchange all information related to the Lead through the Site or the Platform. The Supplying Agent must also protect the information of the Tenants whose data they are likely to exchange on the Site or through the Platform. – Suppliers or Agents must exchange all Tenant information through the Site or the Platform in order to maintain a transparent and traceable data trail.
For further reference on the contracting, Agents can check the GDPR details here: o GDPR Legal Obligations o GDPR Right of Access o GDPR Data Portability If there are any changes to the details supplied by you it is your responsibility to inform us as soon as possible.
- Description of the Service (the ‘Service’) A team member from the Platform will provide you with access to the Site. Although access to the Site is free, subscription and other additional services provided by us are not free and we will inform you before you subscribe to those services and make sure that the charges are clear.
- Registration The details provided by you on registration are important and must be complete and correct. You must inform us immediately of any changes to your information in writing. When you register with the Site you will create a password and a username. You must not share your password or username with anyone. As a result, you are fully responsible for all actions and activities that take place under your password and username. If you think that someone else may know your username or password or has used them without your permission you must contact us immediately. If we have reason to think that there is likely to be a breach of security or misuse of the Service we may change your password and we will tell you as soon as practically possible. Your username and password are for use for one representative per agency branch. If you need to transfer the username and password to another computer you may be able to do so, but we reserve the right to lock the account for a security check in such a circumstance. If you need to use the Service from more than one computer system, please contact us to discuss the setup. Your registration will become effective from the date on which we notify you of your password and username and will run as long as standing order instructions from you, to your bank in favour of the Platform remain in effect or until terminated by us in accordance with these terms and conditions. You may terminate your registration upon one month prior written notice to the Platform and Platform may terminate your registration at any time, with or without cause, immediately upon giving written notice to you, subject to paragraph 10 below (in either case, the ‘Notice Period’). These terms and conditions continue to apply during the Notice Period until the date of termination of your registration and you remain responsible for payment of all fees and charges relating to the Service provided to you during the Notice Period. In the event of such termination, neither party shall be relieved of any of its obligations incurred prior to such termination. The provisions of paragraphs 2, 7, 8 and 11 hereof and any accrued rights to payment and remedies for breach of these terms and conditions shall survive, in accordance with their terms, the expiration or termination of your registration.
- Information on the Site The Site contains information from a number of sources. Because of the nature of electronic distribution via the Internet, we do not promise that the information is accurate, up to date or complete.
- Access to the Service Your access to the Service may occasionally be restricted to allow for repairs, maintenance or the introduction of new facilities or services. If this happens, we will attempt to restore the Service as soon as we reasonably can.
- Your use of the Site You must not use the Site in a way which causes or is likely to cause the Service to be interrupted, damaged or impaired in any way. You may retrieve and display pages from the Site and may print individual pages and store pages in electronic form for your company’s own internal use only. You must not use any available bulletin boards or our services for illegal purposes or to send or use material which is offensive, abusive, indecent, defamatory, obscene, annoying or would cause anxiety or is in breach of copyright, trademark or any other rights and we reserve the right to edit or remove content that we become aware of and determine, in our sole opinion, to be harmful, offensive or otherwise in violation of these terms & conditions without notice to you. You acknowledge that all information, data, text, software, sound, photographs, graphics, video, messages and other materials (“Content”), whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, are the sole responsibility of the Customer or Instructed Agent. This means that you, and not the Site or Platform are entirely responsible for all Content that you upload, post, email or otherwise transmit via the Service. You may not publish, distribute, sell, loan, lease or transfer any Content in any manner whatsoever to any other person or entity without our prior written permission. You agree not to use the Service to: (A) impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, a Xchange official, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; (B) forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any Content transmitted through the Service; (C) upload, post, email or otherwise transmit any Content that you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements); (D) upload, post, email or otherwise transmit any Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights of any party; (E) upload, post, email or otherwise transmit any unsolicited or unauthorised advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail”, “spam”, “chain letters” or “pyramid schemes”; (F) upload, post, email or otherwise transmit any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, damage, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; (G) disrupt the normal flow of dialogue, cause a screen to “scroll” faster than other users of the Service are able to type, or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other users’ ability to engage in real time exchanges; (H) interfere with or disrupt the Service or servers or networks connected to the Service, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Service; (I) intentionally or unintentionally violate any applicable law or regulation including, but not limited to, regulations promulgated by any securities exchange; (J) collect, process, distribute or store personal data about other users. You acknowledge that we do not pre-screen the Content, but that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) in our sole discretion to refuse or move or edit any Content that is available via the Service. Without limiting the foregoing, we shall have the right to remove any Content that violates these terms and conditions or is otherwise objectionable.
- You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of any Content, including any reliance on the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such Content. In this regard, you acknowledge that you may not rely on any Content created by us or submitted to us. In accordance with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 all details, photographs and floor plans have been prepared by the Instructed Agent and not by us. Such photographs and floor plans are posted on the Site in good faith as a general guide, not as a statement of fact. The details do not constitute part of an offer or contract. We have not carried out a survey and the services, appliances and specific fittings have not been tested. We would recommend that if there are any particular points of concern, these should be checked with the instructed agent prior to entering into negotiations on behalf of an applicant or client. You acknowledge and agree that we may preserve Content and may also disclose Content: a. for the purpose of properly administering your account in accordance with our standard operating procedures; and b. if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that any such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to comply with legal process; enforce these terms and conditions, respond to claims that any Content violates the rights of third-parties; or protect our rights, property, or personal safety. You acknowledge that the technical processing and transmission of the Service, including your Content, may involve transmissions over various networks and changes to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices. It is your responsibility to obtain and maintain the equipment necessary to access and use the Site. It is your responsibility to pay all telephone and other costs associated with accessing the Service. You are also responsible for making your own backup arrangements. You must inform us immediately if anyone makes or threatens to make a legal claim against you relating to your use of our service. You must immediately stop the act that is the subject of the legal claim. If we ask you to, you must confirm the details of the claim in writing and cooperate with us in the defence of any such claim at your expense. We reserve the right to forward details to the appropriate regulatory authorities, as well as the courts if we are asked to do so.
- You undertake the responsibility to accurately represent all property and applicant details and information in the best interest of the trade and industry. You further agree to disclose upfront the negotiator, broker, agent who would be representing the property, the landlord, seller, developer, or the applicant.
- You undertake the responsibility to provide the best service possible to the customers instructed through the Platform. You further undertake the responsibility to treat all Platform users and their clients with respect and provide good service in an ethical and professional manner without prejudice.
- Your Liability You must compensate us for any damage, which we suffer because of something you have done or in the event of your breach of these terms and conditions.
- Our liability we provide the service without any guarantees or warranties. Whilst we try to ensure that the content of the site is correct we are not responsible if it is not correct. We do not guarantee or represent that any information, content, advertisements or any other website which you may access through our site are accurate or reliable or that it meets your requirements. We expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and any term as to the provision of services to a standard of reasonable care and skill or as to non-infringement of any intellectual property right. Any material downloaded or otherwise obtained through the use of the service is done at your own discretion and risk and you will be solely responsible for any damage to your computer system or loss of data that results from the download of any such material. We do not accept responsibility for any defects which may exist, or for any costs, or any consequences arising from your use of, or inability to access the site. In no event shall we be liable for (i) any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages, or (ii) any loss of profits, loss of revenues, loss of opportunities, loss of data, loss of use damages or cost of procurement of substitute goods or services in each case arising out of these terms and conditions or the provision of the service, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for enabling you to link to any other website, or for the contents of any other website, whether one from which you may have been linked or to which you may link from the site, or for any consequence of your acting upon the contents of such website. We do not accept any liability for your dealings or contracts via the service with suppliers of goods or services, or your customers, or any other third party. We do not accept any liability (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) for any acts or omissions resulting from your decision or opinion formed on the basis of your use of the service except for any liability caused by our negligence for death or personal injury.
- Events beyond your or our control Neither of us shall be liable to the other for any delay or failure to comply with our respective obligations under these terms and conditions if the delay or failure arises from any course which is beyond our reasonable control, including (without limitation) any act of God, or of Government or Regulatory Authority or other internet service providers, war, terrorism or non-availability or malfunctioning of a telecommunications or broadcast or other network system or service.
- Suspension or termination of our service We may suspend, restrict, reduce or terminate the Service to you immediately if you breach any of these terms and in such event we will not be liable to refund any fees paid by you for the Service.
- Copyright and Trademarks All the rights in the designs and information in the Site or sent by us via email, fax, mobile phone, handheld computer or other device are owned by or licensed to us. You agree that rights in the design and information sent by you to us via email, fax, mobile phone, handheld computer or other device are licensed by you to us on a royalty free irrevocable perpetual non-exclusive basis. Except as permitted under paragraph 6 of these terms, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, distribute, republish, display, post or transmit any part of the Site without our permission.
- Communications Any communication from us to you may be sent electronically to the email address provided by you to us and shall be deemed to be received by you on transmission by us, unless we receive notice by return email to the effect that such email address does not exist or the email is otherwise undeliverable in which case we may cancel your membership.
- Payments and cross border payments: Xchange provides a robust payment platform for any exchange of local or cross border payments. Xchange actively conducts AML checks and any other financial compliance checks related to local or international payments. All payments and invoices must be cleared through the Site in order to continue to create a safe ecosystem for local and cross border transactions. Xchange will not take responsibility of any payment which happens outside the “Site” whether legal, or from an accounting standpoint. Xchange provides an infrastructure whereby all the communication between two agents or brokers is recorded. This text information helps legally corroborate the transactions and further creates a safe environment for transactions to happen.
- Communication All communication on the “Platform” i.e. texts, emails, phone calls, “Site” chat communication channels are considered legally binding and are directly associated with the agent, broker, property, listing, applicant, landlord, owner, seller, or developer. All the information exchanged can be used to resolve legal and accounting disputes or litigations if required. Xchange provides a comprehensive communication platform in order to create a safe ecosystem to freely discuss a case, a transaction, or details of an applicant, property, developer, seller, owner et al. Any communication outside the Platform will not be considered legally valid.
FORUM POSTING GUIDELINES
If you would like to discuss any individual on this forum, you need to ensure that you have obtained their informed, freely given, specific and explicit consent to do so.
HOW TO OBTAIN VALID CONSENT
- Informed Data protection law obliges you to provide individuals with information about how you may use their personal data. There must always be information before there can be consent. In practice…this means that you must explain in a clear and concise manner what personal information you may share via the Xchange forum, why you may share that personal information and explain any negative effects that the sharing of that personal information may have upon the individual. E.g. if you default on your rent we may share that information with other estate agents on website forums which may hamper your ability to find rented accommodation.
- Specific To be valid, consent must be specific. In other words, blanket consent without specifying the exact purposes of the processing is not acceptable. In practice… saying: “by ticking this box, you consent to us processing and sharing your personal information for our business purposes” would not constitute valid consent, particularly since tenants may not contemplate that estate agents would share their personal information on Xchange forums.
- Freely Given Consent can only be valid if the individual is able to exercise a real choice and there are no significant consequences if he/she does not consent. In practice… this means that you should not make it a mandatory requirement for a prospective tenant to agree that their personal information may be shared with others on the Xchange forums.
Examples Of Appropriate and Inappropriate Posting
An example of an appropriate posting: “My client, Thomas Jones, has agreed that I can use this forum to ask for a reference about him. If you have had dealings with Mr Jones, and Mr Jones consented to you sharing his personal information, please contact me on 020 123 4567”. An example of an inappropriate posting: “Difficult tenant- Thomas Jones – keep well away – has 5 months of rent arrears”. Disclaimer – Please note that this information has been prepared for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely on it in any manner whatsoever. Thank you for your support of these policies and of Houzen UK and Xchange