OFT Estate Agent Public Register Goes Online
New tool allows consumers to check credentials of property professionals
The OFT has this week launched an online version of its public register listing estate agents who have been given warnings or been banned from estate agency work.
Under the Estate Agents Act 1979 the OFT can issue warning and prohibition orders against individual estate agents or agencies who have broken the law.
The register, which can be browsed alphabetically or by date, provides a crucial tool allowing consumers to search whether the OFT has taken action against estate agents. It also provides information that can be used in order to report to the OFT suspected breaches by an estate agent of an existing warning or prohibition order.
The OFT can issue warning orders or take action with a view to banning estate agents where there is evidence that they have committed certain specified offences such as:
Mike Haley OFT Director of Consumer Protection said, “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. The online register gives consumers direct access to important information explaining where we have taken action against estate agents.'
The launch comes after the Communities and Local Government department announced that it wants to create a register for private landlords in the UK, which it hopes will help clamp down on rogue traders.
June 30, 2009