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Estate agent hit with £40k fine over unfair practices

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  • 30/10/2019
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Estate agent hit with £40k fine over unfair practices
An estate agent has been fined around £40,000 after admitting a host of offences under Unfair Trading Regulations, including allowing a staff member to value a home they wanted to buy themselves.

 

Ilsley and Son Ltd, which traded as Meridian Estate Agents in Bournemouth, was charged with 11 offences, and admitted to nine, the Bournemouth Echo reported.

The offences included falsely informing a buyer interested in a property that they needed to help with vendors’ fees, when the vendor was not actually required to pay a fee, while another buyer was told they needed to pay the commission fee as the vendor did not want to pay it, despite the vendor having been offered a commission-free deal.

The firm also allowed one of its employees to value a home, knowing that person had an interest in purchasing it. This was followed up with a false statement about the payment of a commission fee.

Ilsley & Son was ordered to pay a £5,500 fine, compensation of almost £25,000 and costs of around £10,000.

Councillor Lewis Alison of Bournemouth Council said that the business “fell short of the requirements of professional diligence” and had misled buyers and sellers about fees. 

He added: “Buying and selling a house is one of the largest financial decisions made by consumers and estate agents have a duty in law to provide full and accurate information.

“Fulfilling our own responsibility to protect consumers, we are pleased by the result of the court action, which has included significant compensation to those affected.”

 

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