Buying Agent Fees

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case, the potential Buyer argued that the Buying Agent she had instructed, charged her an excessive abortive fee when she withdrew an offer that she had made for a property on the same day it had been made and accepted by the Seller. The Agent maintained their entitlement to charge the fee, given that it was detailed in the terms and conditions of their agreement.

No-Man’s Land

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Buyers claimed that the Agent had incorrectly advertised the property. They explained that during the conveyancing process they discovered that an area of land at the rear of the garden was not included in the title plan belonging to the property, and in fact belonged to the local council. The Buyers argued that the Agent should not have marketed the property without having checked this. They also pointed out that they incurred additional costs in registering all of the garden (as seen) as part of the property, arguing that they were treated unfairly by the Agent as a result of the Seller not agreeing to make an allowance for these costs as part of the transaction.

‘Gentle Pressure’ and Questionable Offers

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the potential Buyer withdrawing from the transaction, the potential Sellers claimed that the Agent had fabricated information provided to the potential Buyer, including inventing offers and viewings. The Sellers also claimed that the Agent failed to deal with their complaint appropriately. The Agent’s response was that they simply applied 'gentle pressure' on a difficult purchaser to assist the progression of the transaction.

Unauthorised Building Work

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case, the successful Seller was concerned that the Agent had released the key to her Buyer a week before completion, enabling him to begin major building work (including re-wiring and the removal of fireplaces and kitchen cupboards) without her permission. She also alleged that they had permitted unaccompanied viewings; failed to issue a Memorandum of Sale in two instances and handled her complaint unsatisfactorily. She was seeking a refund of the £1,200 commission fee which she had eventually paid on a 'without prejudice' basis shortly before a Small Claims Court hearing to avoid further costs. The Agent acknowledged that the key had been released to the Buyer prematurely and was unable to explain how this had happened. However they insisted that contracts had already been exchanged and noted that the Seller had not suffered any financial disadvantage as the sale had completed successfully. They made no apology and denied the other allegations, but reluctantly offered a £100 fee reduction as a 'goodwill gesture'. When the Seller indicated that she was not satisfied with this and was withholding the commission fee, the Agent initiated proceedings in the Small Claims Court.

All Inclusive

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Prior to renting the property the Tenant viewed accompanied by the Agent’s representative who explained to him that the rent included all bills. After the viewing, the Tenant asked the representative to confirm what he would have to pay, to which she responded that the weekly rent was due in advance and that all bills were included. Unsurprisingly, the Tenant was subsequently shocked to receive council tax bills which eventually culminated in a County Court judgement being made against him. The Agent’s response was that, as per the tenancy agreement, he was still required to pay the council tax.

Communication Not Guaranteed

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The complaint raised concerned the Agent's failure to continue to notify the Guarantor of rent arrears that had accrued under the tenancy. He also accused the Agent of failing to notify him when the Landlord decided to put the matter into the hands of her solicitors and of failing to make those solicitors aware of his role by not providing the Deed of Guarantee he had signed. As a result of these shortcomings, the Guarantor argued that he had incurred unnecessary court costs.

Misinformation, Arrears and No Guarantee

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the eventual eviction of the Tenants, the Landlord complained to the Agent that their referencing process had been flawed as it had not divulged a number of financial issues of which, had she known, meant she would not have agreed to the tenancy. The Agent acknowledged some shortcomings, but refused to make an offer equivalent to the loss of rent that the Landlord was seeking.

Sale by Tender

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Buyer accused the Agent of claiming payment of a fee for which there was no written or verbal agreement. She explained she had made a bid by tender for the property, and that the form she completed explained that an introduction fee of 2% (plus VAT) of the sale price would be payable by her to the Agent. However, the Buyer contended that the terms of the ‘Sale by Informal Tender Bid Form’ (the Form) made it clear that the fee would only be payable in the event that her tender bid was accepted which, in this case, it was not (the Seller rejected that offer but had accepted a subsequent higher offer from her which had not been made through the Agent). The Agent stated that an introduction fee was due to them in accordance with the terms of the Form which explained that the fee would be payable by the Buyer in the event that she purchased the property.

An Uninspected Inspection Pit

Published on Monday, 01 September 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following their purchase of the property, the buyers, Mr and Mrs B, raised a complaint with the Agent, pointing out that although the particulars detailed that the garage benefitted from a vehicle inspection pit, there was actually no such facility.

Property Being Sold (Misleading Actions)

Published on Monday, 01 September 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

During the initial viewing of the property, Mr and Mrs C informed the Agent that their reason for ending their current tenancy was because that property was on the housing market and they no longer wished to endure the inconvenience of prospective purchasers and viewings. They specifically asked the Agent if the property they were viewing was on the market for sale and were told by the Agent that it was not. Having entered into the tenancy Mr and Mrs C became aware that the property was, in fact, being advertised for sale. Mr and Mrs C complained that the Agent had failed to provide them with material information about the property and that, had they done so, they would not have entered into the tenancy.

Who Owns the Loft?

Published on Friday, 29 August 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Shortly before exchange of contracts was due to occur, Mrs G, the buyer, raised a number of complaints against the Agent in relation to the sales particulars and the information verbally provided to her during viewings, both of which indicated that the loft space attached to the top floor flat formed part of the property and had the potential to be converted into a further living space, but which her solicitor had subsequently discovered was not necessarily the case. The Agent responded by stating that the property had been marketed on the basis of its potential and on the information provided and approved by the sellers.

Planning Permission 2 (Not a Misleading Omission)

Published on Wednesday, 09 July 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Mr and Mrs B placed an acceptable offer on the property, which had not yet been completed by the property development company who was the seller. A number of months later it became apparent during the conveyancing that there was a planning issue which was likely to delay the transaction. The seller advised that the matter was in hand and would be resolved soon, however, Mr and Mrs B decided to withdraw from the transaction. They then
complained to the Agent asserting that they should have been made aware of the planning issue and sought compensation for their abortive fees.

Wash with Problems

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The complainants, Mr and Mrs J, bought a property in the knowledge that five months prior to making their offer the property had been flooded. The property was situated near the sea and a river. A year after the purchase, the property was flooded again and, according to Mr and Mrs J, was at risk to flooding on an additional three separate occasions. Mr and Mrs J alleged that the Agent withheld information and deceived them about the true nature of the risk of flooding.

A Licence to Rent

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Mr and Mrs I, the buyers, were investors who approached the Agent with a view to buying a rental property suitable for their needs. The Agent duly provided them with the details of the property which included rental values and was being sold with a sitting tenant. Mr and Mrs I proceeded to purchase the property, however, two years later, after being contacted by the local council, Mr and Mrs I complained to Agent that they had neglected to inform them that the property fell under the Council’s selective licensing scheme which, in their opinion had devalued the property.

Storage Not Included

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case the potential buyers, Mr and Mrs H, viewed the property four times before entering into negotiations where a mutually agreeable price was agreed. However, during the conveyancing process it came to light that the storage arrangements described on the draft sales particulars did not form part of the sale. Unfortunately, the transaction broke down and Mr and Mrs H sought reimbursement of their costs from the Agent.