OFT launches online register of dodgy estate agents

”OFT

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched an online version of its register of dodgy estate agents.

Firm’s listed have been given warnings or been banned from estate agency work and the list can be viewed at www.oft.gov.uk/estateagentregister

The register can be browsed alphabetically or by date and also provides information on how to report suspected breaches by a firm of an existing warning or prohibition order.

Estate agents that have been warned or banned will have committed certain specific offences in relation to their business, such as: fraud, other dishonesty or violence; discrimination on the grounds of race or gender or failing to belong to an approved redress scheme

The OFT’s director of consumer protection says: “Under the law, estate agents must ensure they act in the best interests of their clients and that both buyers and sellers are treated honestly, fairly and promptly.”

Reputable estate agents are now desperately seeking vendors, with the National Association of Estate Agents recently reporting that there are four house hunters for every property on the market.

However, stocks on agents’ books are at historic lows and the UK property scene is far from a sellers market.

Tight mortgage finance and fear of redundancy continue to impact on sales and property website Rightmove reported a 0.4% fall in asking prices in June, following on from a rise in May.

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