An interesting twist in the campaign to remove unfair clauses from estate agent’s contracts developed last week.
The first ‘surprising’ development was when the vendors were copied in on an email sent by Evans to his solicitors.
Rather than spend time considering options and addressing the issues highlighted in this campaign Evans spent his time trolling the web in an attempt to ‘dig up dirt’ on his ex-client. We can only imagine his joy when he ‘thought’ he’d discovered gold.
What Evans had stumbled upon was an entirely false article published on a scam website owned by a competitor.
Evans then proceeded to copy and disseminate sections of that website in breach of copyright law and the rights of the website owner: Copyright © 2015 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.
The website Evans copied is at the center of a huge scam extensively documented on the Internet. Yet rather than do his research Evans simply copied libelous and defamatory articles and emailed them.
What he hoped to achieve is anyone’s guess and it beggars belief that he would now stoop to these depths when the vendor simply gave Evans the opportunity to sell their home.
When the facts regarding the scam website were pointed out to Evans his reply was to state that he ‘was at the police station’.
Then a day later a letter was received by the vendors at the center of this case from Evans’ New Zealand solicitors claiming that this campaign was defamatory and the publishers ‘had to take down the whole website and publish an apology.’
The letter is copied below and makes interesting reading, especially when placed in the context of the published material on this site.
Evans claims that he has not acted aggressively – on this page we have reproduced dialogue by Evans.
ready or likely to attack or confront; characterized by or resulting from aggression.
“he’s very uncooperative and aggressive”
behaving or done in a determined and forceful way.
“we needed more growth to pursue our aggressive acquisition strategy”
||assertive, forceful, competitive, insistent, vigorous, energetic, dynamic,driving, bold, audacious, enterprising, go-ahead, zealous, pushing;
Our response to Evans New Zealand Lawyers and what we feel are spurious claims:
We have to stand by everything published on the website … whatever the consequences.
Graham Evans of Penyards Country Property Hampshire has instructed his lawyers ‘to bankrupt the vendors without delay’.
So the threats made in the letter to sue for defamation are confusing as if they make the vendors bankrupt what do they expect to gain from sueing a bankrupt?
Secondly, the question was asked ‘under what laws and jurisdiction are they referring to in the letter? This is a UK agent a NZ resident and published by a Delaware company?’ (we await an answer)
The vendors wrote ‘We are a honest, hardworking family who simply put our home on the market in the UK to move to this beautiful country.
I told Evans this would be reported, now it’s starting to bite he’s using lawyers to threaten us further and worse, he’s now scouring the internet trying to dig up dirt on us. Only yesterday he found an old article from a competitor which is defamatory and is emailing that – so really? Is this the actions of a professional? I think not!
Take me to court for defamation – I don’t see any judge, or any decent, honest person having any sympathy for Evans – he’s a bully and there is simply no place for bullies. He embarked on his campaign of harassment from the very outset before we’d even sold our home. Where reasonable professionals would have acted with integrity he chose to threaten us. Now that I am finally FORCED to fight back he’s acting like normal bullies. Instead of apologizing and putting things right, his hiding behind lawyers.
Continue to bankrupt me! I couldn’t fight this in the UK from the other side of the world and I do know that I have no defense here as you’ll just ‘rubber stamp’ the injustice.
All this is doing is adding fuel to the campaign and publicly making Evans accountable for his actions.
Remember, this whole situation is of Evan’s making, we moved on and walked away but he’s pursuing this relentlessly and creating the situation he now finds himself in.
Readers will make up their own minds in the court of public opinion.’
We are simply reporting the facts and if they culminate in the loss of business then, like Gerald Ratner, Evans will be the architect of his own downfall.
Evans is at the center of this campaign and the FACTS are being published.
The vendors say ‘Evans isn’t pursuing a commission we feel is justified (although it is in the contract) – he did nothing, absolutely nothing to deserve anything. In fact I would estimate that his company’s ineptitude in dealing with legitimate offers has cost us hundreds of thousands of pounds. It was the hard work and negotiating skills of the second agent that secured the sale and Evans motivated by greed and avarice, feels justified in his subsequent actions.’
To the best of our knowledge everything reported here is TRUE but rather than act in a professional manner and mitigate the fall-out, Evans continues to be ‘aggressive’ .. FACT.
There is nothing libellous and if it is defamatory that is because Evans is acting in an astonishing way. Everything is factual – in OUR OPINION he is acting in an aggressive manner and has harassed the vendors for over two years now – that’s not defamatory – it’s FACT
Another FACT is that Evans has dissolved a number of companies in his career as an estate agent:
Director Overview: Graham Evans holds 4 appointments at 4 active companies, has resigned from 5 companies and held 5 appointments at 3 dissolved companies.
The combined cash at bank value for all businesses where Graham holds a current appointment equals £4,414, with a combined total current assets value of £237,354 and total current liabilities of £569,103.
Roles associated with Graham Evans within the recorded businesses include: Company Secretary, Director Registered Details Short name Graham Evans Year of Birth: 1956 Director ID: 906526265
The Old Cartshed
Old Standlynch Farm
United Kingdom SP5 3QR
‘Never trust a man who has had a few companies and with some of them ‘company is dissolved’
Not saying he does, but some run up debts and then ‘Phoenix’s a company’ which is legal, but close to the edge.
I’m a estate agent, and I compete against, these sort of estate agents. Who suddenly change their company name very slightly, but outwardly to the public the logo’s are still the same and the website the same. But they ditched the debts of the previous company and start a fresh.’
SOURCE: COMMENT LEFT BY A CAMPAIGN SUPPORTER
Letter received from Evans’ lawyers
[embeddoc url=”http://penyards-estateagents-countryproperties-ournightmare.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/tranter-letter.pdf” viewer=”google”]
a> Whilst employed, Penyards acted in a wholly unprofessional manner in the opinion of the vendors. ‘Penyards were instructed clearly on occasion after occasion to not tell clients that we were abroad as this would strengthen their position, yet they continued to barter with our property as if it were their own. We have reams of correspondence where we’re in an argument with them as we didn’t feel they were representing the property properly. Look, if they were doing a good job they wouldn’t have been fired would they?
I have accused Lisa Evans of lies and stand by that – it is documented. If she can produce the publications that she refers to where she said she’d marketed our property and we could not find them, then I’ll retract that accusation.’
b>according to our interpretation and the opinion of our barrister the clause in the Unfair Contracts Act Evans has leveraged, breaches it. We do say though as a caveat, that it hasn’t been tested in court in our case and the law appears to be confusing all to the detriment of the homeowner. This is the reason the campaign has been launched and we’re encouraging estate agents to support this with our case at its center.
c>We have not said Penyards managed to get the DEFAULT judgement because of dishonest behavior, we said they managed to get it because the court didn’t present the vendor’s defense. We say they took advantage of home territory and that the vendors were at a significant disadvantage trying to fight it from new Zealand, which is a fact. The vendors did send the defense but the court simply did not present it resulting in a DEFAULT judgement – Subsequently, Evans team, willfully and in our opinion ‘deceitfully’ sent all correspondence to undeliverable addresses thereby manipulating a situation where the vendors missed all reasonable deadlines in getting the case reheard.
Penyards hired a private detective to track down the vendors as they had moved. Armed with the correct address all subsequent papers were sent to the OLD address. We do not know if the addresses were sent to Dutton Gregory however they do refer to the correct address in correspondence which would indicate they were in possession of the facts
Dutton Gregory (representatives) then claimed in court and on oath that they did not receive bounce back emails. The vendor OWNS the hosting company and can see from the log files Dutton Gregory did receive them (however, we cannot prove they were opened). The vendor personally forwarded the emails Stephen Alexandre and received no undeliverable bounce back so it is assumed that he read them.
In suggesting that the vendors did receive paperwork (sent to undeliverable email address and old mailing address) persuaded the judge to not set aside the default judgement as the vendors had not responded in time.
We stand by our comments that Dutton Gregory acted dishonestly by using undeliverable addresses to send paperwork FACT! Furthermore, according to industry guidelines Evans should have taken this to mediation, something we asked to do rather than embark upon his campaign.
e> see c – a complaint has also been sent to the legal ombudsman.
f> See a – they also failed to follow many TPO guidelines.
g> IT IS FACT that Evans failed to follow multiple codes of TPO Code of Practice
h>When Spencers, a fellow estate agent tried to help resolve the situation Evans called them ‘cowboys’ and accused them of speaking with ‘forked tongues’ (letter available for inspection).
i> “I will bankrupt you and Mrs Tranter at the earliest opportunity” Graham Evans
j>The vendor has not accused him of being drunk as ‘I don’t know – I said he ‘appeared’ drunk so much so that my wife thought it was a dirty phone call and handed the phone to me because she couldn’t understand him. When I took over he started a tirade of ‘slurred threats’ so I hung up. In my opinion he was either drunk or having a stroke. The fact that he was aggressive is backed up as hours later as I received his threats to ‘freeze our assets’. (we hadn’t even exchanged contracts!!!)
k> We consider the letter to ‘gag’ free speech and threats of legal action if this this website isn’t taken down ‘aggressive’ and in line with everything the vendors have experienced to date. We have every right to document the facts.
4. The comments in the campaign are, to the best of our knowledge true. Matters surrounding the law are reproduced to the best of our ability as ‘lay person’ and based on the advice of lawyers and our interpretation of it.
‘Which actually it the whole point!’ Says the vendor ‘I am simply a person who wanted to sell my home and this is where we are. And it is all surrounding the clause Evans has used to devastating effect. It is unfair whether that be legally or morally and our campaign is to get it removed from agency agreements with Evans as an example as to why.’
The Property Ombudsman could not act due to the DEFAULT order and certainly did not support Evans, after all he breached almost every rule in their code.
In my opinion says the vendor ‘we have been utterly shafted by Evans and his lawyers. That is my opinion and I’m fully entitled to it I believe.’
With regard to Dutton Gregory we stand by this publication and the complaint to the ombudsman.
We are happy to consider specific points with regard to published material and put right any errors. Point out anything you consider false and send proof as to why.
Other than that the campaign will go on because it affects every person in the UK and other estate agents. People simply shouldn’t be vulnerable to the opportunistic actions of the likes of Evans and be liable TWO agency fees.