June 11, 2015
National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team
Unless the Estate Agent Has kidnapped or Attempted to Murder You, Don’t Expect Any Help!
We took our complaint to National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team and were surprised that there was actually some progress. One of the team wrote to the Property Ombudsman asking why they had not taken action when Evans had clearly breached their code of practise. We were awaiting a reply when we received this from the team manager … The contents beggar belief!
‘Your email has been passed to me as I understand you are not happy with the response from our team.
Firstly, I am sorry to read about the problems you have had, and are continuing to have. Secondly, I need to clarify our role so that you are clear what we can, and can’t do. Our duty is to assess individuals or businesses as to their fitness to carry out estate agency work, and to prohibit or warn those we find to be unfit. We do this after there has been a breach of the Estate Agents Act or an undertaking, or if a relevant offence has been committed which can trigger such an investigation (section 3 of the Estate Agents Act 1979 refers). This is normally done after an investigation by the local Trading Standards Service or other enforcement agency such as the Police or HMRC which then gives us the evidence to proceed. To give you some idea of the context of this, recent cases have included orders made in respect of individuals who have committed large scale fraud, manslaughter, kidnapping, and serious assault.
I accept that you are very aggrieved by the action which has been taken by the agent involved, and are also unhappy with the circumstances surrounding the subsequent court case. I cannot however find any evidence in your complaint that there has been either a breach of the Estate Agents Act, or that an offence has been committed which could trigger an investigation by us.
Our team consists of 3 full time and 1 part time member of staff to cover the whole of the UK, so we do not have the resources to get involved in attempting to resolve individual disputes. We are therefore unable to contact the agent to mediate or negotiate on your behalf.
I know this is not a response which you will be happy with, but we can only deal with issues where we have the legal powers and resources to take action. Should the local Trading Standards Service or the Police find any evidence which could lead us to start an investigation we would be happy to consider it.