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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Portal juggling: campaigning agent demands action against portals

An agent at the centre of the campaign to expose and stop portal juggling wants to know whether the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team is taking any action against Rightmove and Zoopla.

At the end of last week a joint statement by NTSEAT, the National Association of Estate Agents and two of the three approved redress schemes made it clear that portal juggling is illegal and that 

The lengthy statement included NTSEAT’s team leader, James Munro, saying: ‘If an estate agent has relisted a property and described it as ‘new on the market’ (or implying it as such), or using re-listings as a mechanism for falsely inflating sales statistics, this would constitute an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. False representations made by an estate agent could also fall under the scope of the Fraud Act 2008.”

Now Chris Wood of PDQ in Cornwall has written to Munro asking “if any cases are now being brought against Rightmove and Zoopla for permitting such activities and, against those agents ... who have been so flagrantly breaching the law and deceiving consumers?”

The letter is copied to St Ives MP Derek Thomas, who before the parliamentary summer recess submitted an application for a debate on the issue of portal juggling.

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    I think a fair few "agents" will be worried, and rightly so. Some could have manipulated figures to gain funding from investors or mislead the public to gain instructions. This is a criminal activity and is now gathering pace. Hopefully we will see some prosecutions soon.

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    This is great news. Hoping that any sanctions are hard-hitting, rather than a cursory slap on the wrist. As SP says, some businesses could come seriously unstuck if pursued by the authorities.

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