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Agency hit with fine for 'false advertising'

An estate agency has been fined by a local authority for putting up a 'Sold' board outside a house more than a year after it was first sold. 

Jigsaws Estate Agents, based in Holloway, North London, was prosecuted by Islington Council. 

The firm's director, Andrew Christadoulides, appeared at Highbury Magistrates' Court and pleaded guilty to the offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Christadoulides and Jigsaws were jointly-fined £625 and ordered to pay £926 in legal costs as well as a £63 victim surcharge.

“Putting up false ‘Sold’ boards is not only unsightly, but intentionally misleads potential buyers and gives the company an unfair advantage over its local competitors," said Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council's executive member for housing and development.

“This underhand practice will not be tolerated in our borough and we will take action against those that do it."

The council is advising local residents to report any concerns about the suspected misuse of advertising boards by estate agents to Citizens Advice.

Estate Agent Today has contacted the agency for comment. 

Earlier this year, Jigsaws was the subject of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority regarding the advertising of its lettings fees on Rightmove. 

After being approached by the watchdog, the firm pledged to amend its advertising to make sure that quoted prices included non-optional fees that apply to all customers. 

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