Following her purchase of the property, the buyer, Ms F, asserted that the Agent had misrepresented the property by listing incorrect directional aspects on the sales particulars and that, as a result of this misinformation she would experience ongoing inconvenience until such times as she sold the property.
Ms F stated that during her second viewing of the property, the aspect described on the sales particulars as a west facing reception room and east facing bedroom, was discussed with the Agent who attempted to show her the compass points pertaining to the aspect but the smartphone application would not work. Ms F pointed out that the aspect described in the sales particulars indicated that the party wall was the north wall, making the property less exposed and easier to heat. However, when she moved into the property, she became aware that the details provided by the Agent relating to the aspects of the property were incorrect. Ms F pointed out that the Agent was instructed to conduct a survey of the
property and that she was not informed of this error once the survey had been concluded. The Agent did not dispute Ms F’s assertions but argued that they had no record of her attaching any importance to the aspects in question until after the purchase, therefore, their error was not relevant to her decision to purchase the property.
The fact that Ms F sought reassurance and clarity from the Agent in regard to the aspects of the property during the second viewing demonstrated that this was an important factor to her when considering the purchase. Accordingly, I was of the view that having been unsuccessful in the attempt to reassure Ms F about the property’s aspects using a smartphone application, it was remiss of the Agent not to seek further clarification on the matter. I considered that the Agent’s failings had caused and would continue to cause significant ongoing aggravation and inconvenience to Ms F, therefore, I made an award of £1,000.
If the various directional aspects of a property are to be promoted as a benefit to potential buyers, it is essential that the agent takes reasonable steps to verify those aspects. Furthermore, the agent should be prepared to demonstrate the accuracy of such statements during viewings, especially if questioned. Inaccurate statements about a property will be considered as misleading under the TPO Code of Practice and the CPRs.