Following their successful purchase, Mr and Mrs D (the Buyers) complained that the Agent had failed to inform them of a proposed development which would impair the view from the property. Mr and Mrs D considered that the Agent was in breach of the Property Misdescriptions Act and Paragraph 4h of the Code of Practice.
Mr and Mrs D stated that the design of the property was intended to make the most of the view and that they had paid a premium for this aspect which was going to change for the worse. As such, they expected the Agent to have been aware of the proposed development, its potential impact on the view and to have informed them of this matter via the sales particulars or during the viewings. The Agent provided their complete file for consideration
which included detailed progress notes. However, my review of all of the submissions found no information which indicated that the Agent had been aware of the proposed development at any point prior to the completion of the sale.
I did not consider that the Agent could be held accountable for Mr and Mrs D being unaware of the proposed development and pointed out that this would have been a matter for their conveyancer to investigate. I also made the point that, given that the view had been an aspect that Mr and Mrs D were willing to pay additional monies for, it was within their interest to have established for themselves whether there were any potential plans which could compromise this. Whilst I did not support that issue, as the Agent had failed to address the complaint in accordance with the Code of Practice which had caused Mr and Mrs D avoidable aggravation, distress and inconvenience, I made an award of £100.
If an agent is unaware of information which is directly relevant to a buyer’s decision but is asked a question on that matter, they should clearly state their lack of knowledge and offer advice as to where such information could be obtained. If a complaint is subsequently raised, whether it is considered justified or not, the agent should be deal with it in accordance with the clear procedures and timescales set out in the Code of Practice.