The online property listings site launched in 2015 claiming to have 4,418 estate agents on board. Its mission was “to stop property portals from dictating unfair terms and charging real estate agents exorbitant fees” and to let agents list properties free for five years.
The problem advert was for a five-bedroom, detached house for sale in Romsey, SO51. The listing was headed “available”, showed various photographs of the interior and exterior of the property and displayed a price of £1m.
The complainant said that the information related to when the property was on the market in 2016.
The ASA noted that there was no legal entity behind the website Houser.co.uk and that the website listed a postal address in Romford, Essex, and several generic email addresses. The web hosting service Fasthosts agreed to forward correspondence to Houser.co.uk.
The ASA said: “We were concerned by Houser.co.uk’s lack of response to these approaches and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of the UK Code of Advertising Promotion (CAP). We considered that consumers would understand from the advert that the price, photographs and information about the property all applied when the advert was seen. We concluded that the advert was misleading.”
The advert was ruled to have breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.1 (Misleading advertising).