Campaign against standard term estate agency contracts

Trading Standards

Good Afternoon

I have just received a message that you rang in to reception and have traced your email which we received on 9 April.

I am afraid that we no longer provide an Advisory Service to our residents and all enquiries are diverted to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS).

Details provided to them by Hampshire consumers or relating to Hampshire traders are transferred on to our database.

Ideally we would investigate every incoming complaint in depth but realistically this simply isn’t possible. Trading Standards enforce a wide range of laws dealing with unfair and deceptive commercial practices. Because of the high volume of complaints received by the Service in relation to such matters it is only possible to investigate the most serious of criminal breaches and, in particular, those where the victims have been targeted because of their vulnerability. We therefore adopt an ‘intelligence-led’ approach to enforcement to ensure resources are used to best effect to tackle current issues. All sources of information, but especially complaints from the public and business, are used to identify trends and problem traders. We use the incoming information from CACS together with other sources to identify those traders and trading practices causing most concern to Hampshire ratepayers and we take action as appropriate. It can mean that, on occasions, individual complainants feel that their complaint has been overlooked but this is unavoidable.

I note that your dispute centres on the terms and conditions of a contract and the application of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. The ultimate decision as to whether a contract term is unfair can only be made by a court of law and you must be guided by your solicitor on this. I have no prior knowledge of court decisions but brief research has highlighted what appears to be a relevant case and I attach a link below:

http://egiewcms-test-auth.elasticbeanstalk.com/legal/fleurets-ltd-v-dashwood/

The complaint you have made regarding the aggressive behaviour of Penyards has been recorded on our database but at the present time no action is intended. We monitor complaints against all Hampshire based businesses as explained above and the information you provided will be used for this purpose.

Regards,

Jennifer Lenton
Trading Standards Officer

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