ASA upholds complaint against housing association

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against housing association Notting Hill Genesis, deeming an advertisement regarding shared ownership ‘misleading’.

The complaint focused on the featured text “I own a two-bedroom apartment and pay less per month than my friends pay to rent a room in a flatshare.” This, the complainant argued, was misleading because only a proportion of the property would be owned.

Notting Hill Genesis responded by explaining that shared ownership leaseholders have been described as ‘homeowners’ by the government since the 1980s.

In addition, Notting Hill Genesis provided the government’s definition of the shared ownership scheme, which says that shared owners take on the usual responsibilities of a full owner-occupier.

The ASA believes that consumers would understand the terminology used as a comparison between the monthly cost of paying rent to a landlord for a room in a shared home and the monthly cost of paying a mortgage on a property, rather than describing any more complex arrangement.

However, as the advert did not clearly describe the service as a shared ownership scheme, the body ruled the advert as misleading and concluded the advert must not appear again in its current form.

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