Croydon Estate Agent Banned by Office of Fair Trading

  • 15 years ago
  • Uncategorized

An Estate agent has been banned from practising by the Office Of Fair Trading (OFT). The OFT  issued a prohibition order banning Marcia Whyte who ran Executive Estates a Croydon estate agency from performing estate agency work. Ms Whyte failed to disclose a personal interest in the sale of a property.

Marcia Whyte who ran Executive Estates, Brighton Road, South Croydon, failed to disclose to a potential vendor, promptly and in writing, that she was seeking to acquire his property. An adjudicator found she also failed to disclose her personal interest to a potential purchaser to whom she intended to re-sell the property. Had the transaction proceeded Ms Whyte stood to make a secret profit of £65,000.

In addition, the estate agent received a deposit from the potential purchaser, even though doing so is unlawful where an agent has a personal interest in the property, even when that interest has been duly disclosed.

Mike Haley, OFT Director of Consumer Protection said:

‘Estate Agents must immediately disclose to prospective vendors and purchasers that they have a personal interest in the sale of a property they are marketing. This is specifically to prevent them from making a secret profit, as Marcia Whyte would have done in this case. We take seriously any complaints of an estate agent potentially misleading consumers by failing to disclose a personal interest.’

The OFT can take action with a view to banning from estate agency work a person (and for the purposes of the Estate Agents Act this can also be a company or a partnership) who has committed certain specified offences such as fraud, or other dishonesty or violence, or who has committed racial or sexual discrimination in the course of estate agency work, or who has failed to comply with the requirements placed on estate agents by the Estate Agents Act 1979 and its associated regulations (the Act), or who has engaged in specified undesirable practices, if an adjudicator finds that the person in question is unfit to act as an agent.

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