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Are Cash House Buying Companies Regulated?

We explain whether or not the cash house buying market is regulated


How do I know if a cash house buying company is regulated?

We explain how to find out and what qualities you need to look for...

Here at The Property Buying Company, we predominately have one core offering, our Sell House Fast service. This service is a bit different to the typical house sale process, through an estate agent or at auction.

In this article, you will find out about the ‘sell house fast market’, whether it’s regulated and what qualities you should be wary of when looking for a good company

Is the quick house sale market regulated?

It may be hard to believe but cash house buying companies and the market as a whole aren’t actually regulated by law, which can leave you exposed to companies who are unprofessional and dishonest.

However, the sector does have two regulating bodies, which cash house buying companies can be registered with, but the joining of these companies is voluntary. These bodies are called the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) and The Property Ombudsman (TPO).

Both these governing bodies work hand in hand because to be a member of the NAPB, the company must also be registered with TPO. The NAPB was formed to put self-regulatory processes in place to ensure companies operate with transparency, fairness and honesty. They have their own codes of conduct on top of companies following the rules of TPO.

TPO are a scheme that aims to provide a resolution service to any disputes between customers and the cash house buying companies. This organisation isn’t actually a regulating body and more acts by offering a layer of protection to customers, should anything go wrong.

When looking for a quick house sale company, it’s important you check whether or not they’re members of these organisations. If you check whether the company are a member of the NAPB, then this will mean they’re also a member of TPO. To check if they’re a member of the NAPB, use their official website, as some companies will use their image on their website, without even being a member, in a bid to look more reliable and mislead customers.

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The Property Ombudsman

The Property Ombudsman is a scheme that aims to provide a dispute resolution service between customers and property agents. Their aim is to achieve a settlement in any dispute, and they can offer a compensatory award of up to £25,000 for any quantifiable loss, inconvenience, distress or aggravation which is caused by the property agent.

The organisation doesn’t make any profit and is government approved to provide independent redress. Every complaint put forward to the company are considered on a case-by-case basis. The Property Ombudsman doesn’t have the authority to take legal action or impose fines on the agent, as they’re not a regulator, but they can report agents to the Compliance Committee to decide on further action if codes of practice have been broken.

National Association of Property Buyers

The National Association of Property Buyers is a collective group of small companies whose goal is to improve the standards within the cash house buying company industry. The NAPB ensure all their members are running a professional business and that they keep up to the required high standards throughout their work.

The NAPB also have a mandatory requirement that all members must also be registered with The Property Ombudsman. Whilst members must follow TPO’s code of practice, the NAPB also have their own codes of practice which members must abide by.

Membership to the NAPB is completely voluntary, meaning you may find you’re talking with a company that isn’t regulated. Whilst this is okay for you to do, it means you have no layer of protection should anything go wrong and there’s no governing body ensuring that the companies’ procedures are all ‘above board’, as they should be.

Disadvantages of unregulated cash house buying companies

Deciding whether it’s worth the extra time searching for a quick house sale company who are regulated? We can make it easier for you – below are all the disadvantages of using an unregulated company:

  • No code of conduct, meaning there’s no minimum level of customer service that the company need to stick to

  • No set period of time, meaning a sale could drag on for months with no one to oversee the process is completed in a suitable period of time

  • No need for the company to be transparent about their surveys or valuations, meaning it could be a mystery for you as to why your property is put at a certain value

  • No guarantee on the offer price, meaning it could be reduced drastically at any time

  • Potential for hidden costs, for example for the legal fees

  • No protection for you as the seller if anything is to go wrong

Questions to ask a cash house buying company

Selling your house is a major part of our lives, making it important you choose the right cash house buying company, who will treat you fairly and ensure that everything is done correctly. To make sure you’re choosing a reliable cash house buying company, we’ve listed some questions you should be asking:

Are you actual cash buyers or are you relying on a mortgage?

A lot of cash house buying will say they’re able to buy your house for cash but actually rely on a mortgage, making it a better option for you to look elsewhere, as a mortgage can take several months to get approved.

What is your complaint handling procedure?

In a market where there isn’t any real regulation, it’s important to know that there’s a formal system in place should any problems arise that need resolving.

Are you able to provide proof of funds?

This is something you would ask any house buyer on the open market and so there’s no reason why you can’t ask to see proof of funds. This will help you feel more comfortable in the knowledge the company are actually able to buy your house using their cash reserves.

Can your solicitor provide recent evidence of your house sales?

It’s important to know that the company have recent experience of buying houses quickly and so by asking to speak to their solicitors and requesting to see recent TR1 forms and completion statements, you’re able to confirm that the company are legitimately able to do what they say they can and that they have recent experience.

Are you members of any regulating body?

As you know, there are no official regulators of the cash house buying industry, but if the company are registered with the National Association of Property Buyers, this shows they have voluntarily signed up to a regulating body, which will ultimately provide you with more protection should anything go wrong.

Are you purchasing the properties yourself or passing the details onto investors?

A lot of cash house buying companies actually just act as a way of getting your details to pass onto investors. This is an unstable way of selling your house, as investors are often unreliable, meaning you should stay clear of companies like this.

Do you have Professional Indemnity Insurance?

A reliable cash house buying company should have professional indemnity insurance to give you confidence that you have protection if anything is to go wrong.

How long have they been operating?

A company which has been long-standing and buying houses quickly for many years are going to be the best companies to use as they have the most experience and therefore will know how to deal with each individual situation, even if things get difficult or something goes wrong.

Who is valuing the property and how is it being valued?

If a cash house buying company is trying to keep their valuation process a mystery, then it’s probably because they are drastically undervaluing your property. Don’t be afraid to question how valuation figures have been calculated, so you’re not left in the dark.

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What should I watch out for?

When looking for a sell house fast company, there are a lot of things you need to look out for, beyond checking whether they’re regulated or not:

Protection for you

The main thing we have touched on in this article is making sure the sell house fast company are regulated and therefore have some protection for you as the seller. You should look to see if they’re members of The Property Ombudsman and the National Association of Property Buyers. Being members of these organisations will mean that the companies must follow specific rules and procedures to make sure everything is done as it should be and that you’re treated fairly.

If anything is to go wrong, homeowners have a layer of protection of being able to complain to The Property Ombudsman and get compensation if the company is found to have broken The Property Ombudsman’s code of conduct.


Another thing the best cash house buying companies will have is a load of reviews on trusted review platforms, such as Trustpilot or, with a majority being verified to prove they’ve come from real customers.

It’s important to look for verified reviews, as a lot of companies will ask their employees to give them positive reviews to boost their ratings on review platforms, in an attempt to draw in customers.


Trying to pick the best quick house sale company can be difficult when you have a lot of companies who over-promise, making it difficult to know who’s promising too much and who can actually deliver what they say they can.

Often it can be tempting for companies to tell you they can sell your house at a ridiculously fast rate, like 24 hours, for 100% of the market value, but these are two statements that are completely false and unachievable.

You should steer clear of any company that is making claims that sound too good to be true – they sound too good to be true because they are! Any company making false promises shouldn’t be trusted, who knows what else they could lie about…

Genuine cash buyer

A final thing to be aware of when trying to choose the best cash house buying company is to make sure the company that you’re choosing is a genuine cash buyer.

We say this because a lot of companies who claim they can buy your house for cash are actually selling your details to another company and therefore don’t have the cash to buy the property directly from you themselves.

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Why you should trust us

We’re more than just a standard cash buying company. The Property Buying Company is owned and run by property professionals, founded in 2012, and with over 50 years combined experience in the industry, you can be sure you’re in safe hands.

As mentioned, we’re members of The Property Ombudsman and the National Association of Property Buyers, so you can trust in the fact we follow strict rules and procedures to ensure everything is done ‘by the book’.

On top of this, we understand that selling a property can be stressful and daunting, so if you’re in need of a quick sale we can take all the stresses away from you and handle everything, whilst always being up for a chat to listen to your worries and help as much as they can.

We’re also rated excellent on Trustpilot, with over 1,000 reviews.

We will always be open and honest about our process and service – we will tell you upfront what we can offer for your property, and we will keep you updated throughout the process, including any issues we face and how we will do our best to overcome them for you.

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