Jail for UK based Estate Agents who mislead buyers.!!

LoadingFavourite

This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of angie angie 8 years, 5 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #54064
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I found this on a property forum and thought it would be fitting here as this could be precisly the legislation needed in Spain.

    JAIL FOR UK-BASED AGENTS WHO MISLEAD UNDER NEW LAWS
    UK, regulation, laws, jail, advertising, AIPP, OFT, BTS

    New laws passed by the British government have clamped down on all businesses offering goods and services for sale from the UK to better protect consumers – with property agents coming under special mention in the legislation.

    The main changes centre around the potential punishment handed out to agents who deliberately mislead or unfairly coerce buyers into a sale, through newspaper, TV, radio or online advertisements. Under the new Consumer Protection Regulations (CPR), passing on materially inaccurate information about market conditions, or selling a product with the intention of the consumer acquiring it at less than favourable market conditions can be punishable by a maximum £5,000 fine or 12 months in jail.

    A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform told OPP that while several of the restrictions already existed under the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988 (CMAR), these have been repealed by the CPRs. Previously the CMARs were only enforceable in the civil courts, where breaches of the new CPRs can be heard in a criminal court. The new laws will be enforced by the British Trading Standards (BTS) Department and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

    Several examples of potential agent behaviour were highlighted in the CPR document, all punishable under the new regulations, including:

    An agent falsely telling a consumer that prices for new houses will be increased in seven days time, in order to pressurise him/her into making an immediate decision to buy.

    An estate agent wrongly telling a consumer that he/she has recently sold several houses in the same area, just like the one the consumer is viewing, at a certain price. If this is not true and he is making the claim in order to persuade the consumer to buy at an inflated price he is in breach of the CPRs.

    An agent/developer falsely telling a buyer that prices in a certain area have risen by 30% y-o-y for five years for example.

    How the BTS and the OFT plan to monitor the industry and penalise agents/developers who break the new rules is uncertain, however a report spokesperson said that existing trade-bodies and associations could be used to help punish offenders.

    “There are alternative well-founded and effective systems of regulation (including self-regulation) in place in the UK,” said the spokesperson. “If enforcers are satisfied that complaints and cases are clearly within the scope of these systems and can be adequately dealt with by them, they will be able to refer such complaints and cases to the relevant body (to ensure that businesses comply with the CPRs).”

    Paul Owen, chief executive of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP), told OPP that this is just another nail in the coffin for misleading advertisers, agents and developers.

    “This sounds like a warning shot across the bows of unscrupulous companies in the industry,” he said. “Any decent agent knows that they cannot do these things, certainly our members do as it is in our code of conduct, but this just provides buyers with an extra level of security. While this is a positive move, how they plan on implementing the new laws is another matter. We will wait and see if they have the resources and time to bring some of the dodgy operators to book on this.”

    Related news
    The £185bn a year real estate industry in the UK has traditionally been self-regulated by trade bodies like the NAEA but a new scheme was launched by the Office of Fair Trading to make agents more accountable. The Ombudsman for Estate Agents, the main source of redress for consumers, now covers 12,344 estate agency branches in the UK and has the power to demand compensation up to £25,000. While membership of the scheme rose 60% last year, complaints rose by 48% to 870 (with 795 cases resolved). This compares with 8,000 complaints received by the OEA in 2006.

  • #83900
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just cannot see how it would work, it is one man´s word against another,if misleading statements are made in print that might be different.

    How about similar legislation against the media, as we saw in the Daily Telegraph article yesterday, journos are at best economical with the truth.

  • #83901
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    sounds like a step in the right direction. Sadly about 5 years to late for many, unless it could be administered retrospectivly? Several of the sharks have moved on/changed names though, so i doubt even that would be much help?

    If laws similar to this had been in place in the UK and all of euro-land a few years ago, to also cover lawyers and developers, i wonder what Spains costa’s would look like today. (assuming of course the laws were implemented???)

  • #83902
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    135

    the media have a lot to answer for sometimes, other times they do us all a big favour, which is more than can be said for dodgy agents who i think are several rungs down in the food chain!

  • #83906
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Paul Owen, chief executive of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP), told OPP that this is just another nail in the coffin for misleading advertisers, agents and developers.

    Perhaps Mr. Owen would do well to look carefully at some of his own ‘members’ in AIPP. Still, as long as they’ve paid their membership fee……

  • #83907
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    As with 95% of UK Consumer a gutless law that reads better than is practicable.
    Trading Standards won’t act unless you have proof.
    Word of mouth is not proof .
    TS only work on their behalf NEVER on that of the consumer with the problem .So if TS agree there is a case to answer it is still up to the consumer to act through the small claims court.
    Just more UK Government hot air unfortunately.

    As Paul Owen and his members know only to well 😡

  • #83908
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @135yearswaiting wrote:

    ….. it is one man´s word against another…

    I would recommend people do what we did in the end after several ‘frustrating meetings’ to try and solve our problems….prominently carry a voice-recorder in full-view.
    Amazing how the lies dry up. All potential purchasers should have one. 😉

  • #83909
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    The best regulation re. lying Estate Agents are forums such as this one.

  • #83976
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Had a serious client out on tour all day today with a video camera. Wouldn’t be the first one, certainly won’t be the last.

    Actually, I strongly recommend it for those buyers who are suspicious of real estate agents’ spiel (maybe 99.9%!?).

    Wonder if I’ll end up on YouTube?

  • #83979
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @sdodgson wrote:

    Had a serious client out on tour all day today with a video camera. Wouldn’t be the first one, certainly won’t be the last.

    Actually, I strongly recommend it for those buyers who are suspicious of real estate agents’ spiel (maybe 99.9%!?).

    Wonder if I’ll end up on YouTube?

    I hope you wore your best frock 😯

  • #83996
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Charlie you’re so right about Paul Owen of AIPP, the man is a complete t—-r, so many of AIPP’s members are these dodgy even crooked agents in some cases in Spain, Bulgaria etc and despite the fact that he knows who they are he won’t remove them.

    With average membership fees last year of £1200 p.a. he will take virtually anyone.

    So when I see any agents’ adverts which state they are members of AIPP I won’t deal with them at all, better to be safe than sorry! 😉

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.