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Rebel agent quits NAEA and makes string of allegations

Rebel estate agent Chris Wood - who earlier this year unsuccessfully attempted to get on the ballot paper as a candidate for NAEA vice-president - has now quit the organisation. 

He claims in a letter declaring that he will not renew his subscription, seen by Estate Agent Today, that the organisation has been neither professional nor legal in its conduct of the election process from which he was excluded. 

Earlier this year Wood - before the NAEA AGM - attended an interview panel for the vice-presidency but was told his application would go no further because of his relatively new membership (although he had in the past been a member for some years), and because of his controversial statements across a range of subjects in the trade press.

His letter also makes references to unspecified cases of wrongful dismissal, bullying and payments which he says occurred involving the NAEA. 

Wood's letter does not specify any of these allegations in detail, nor does he give indications of when they happened nor the individuals to which the allegations apply; he makes reference to "credible sources" from inside and outside the NAEA, although he does not name them. 

In a thinly disguised swipe at Purplebricks, his letter to the association also says the NAEA failed to support its members when "a multi-million pound ... campaign against its members and other law-abiding agents was being undertaken which proclaimed unqualified agents, with little to no experience in some cases, described as ‘property experts’."

Wood was one of four complainants about Purplebricks' advertising of its Local Property Experts; the complaint was filed to the Advertising Standards Authority; the ASA's recent judgement found in favour of Purplebricks.

His letter concludes with this statement: "If the NAEA are not prepared to defend and promote those members and other agents who have taken the time trouble and cost to achieve nationally recognised qualifications through its offices or other colleges and universities, who is?"

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, told Estate Agent Today last evening: “As a trade body we are always disappointed by the resignation of a member. However we are pleased that NAEA Propertymark continues to grow, demonstrating that our members place importance on an organisation that promotes good practice and is seeking regulation for the sector.”

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