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.
Having reviewed the communications between the Agent and the landlord on the day following Mr and Mrs C’s initial viewing, I was satisfied that the Agent had already been aware that the property had been advertised for sale very recently. In these circumstances, I considered that the Agent should have disclosed what they knew to Mr and Mrs C in response to their specific question and in light of their evident concerns. Further, I expected the Agent to have clarified the position with the landlord at the point an offer was made.
Given Mr and Miss C’s reasons for moving, I understood why they were aggravated when they discovered that the property was still on the market following an attempt by another party to facilitate a viewing on the day after they moved in. However, I also took into account that Mr and Miss C continued with the tenancy and subsequently agreed to extend the period of the tenancy even though they were aware that the landlord intended to re-market the property for sale during that period. I supported the complaint and made a modest award of £100.
In this case, given Mr and Mrs C’s concerns expressed at the viewing, the fact that the Agent was aware that the Landlord had been marketing the property for sale literally days before the viewing was material information. Whether Mr and Mrs C would have progressed the tenancy if that information was divulged is debateable and, of course, would never be known. However, given the requirement to divulge material information under the CPRs, the Agent should have imparted what they knew and, if requested by Mr and Mrs C, carried out further investigations.