The fledgling group being set up to represent independent estate and letting agents is preparing a formal complaint about Purplebricks based on what it claims to be “misleading advertisements.”
The Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents - which hasn’t yet formally launched but has held preliminary meetings to establish its structure - says its founding members are making “final preparations” for the lodging of such a complaint, initially with Purplebricks itself.
A statement from CIELA issued last evening said that the complaint was “in particular that claiming savings when comparing a no-sale, no fee model versus an advertising fee is recklessly misleading.”
CIELA says if Purplebricks does not itself take “remedial action” then the issue will be taken to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Estate Agent Today has asked to see a copy of the complaint from CIELA when it is completed.
A statement from Purplebricks this morning says: "CIELA sounds like a sensible initiative for the independent agents - we wish them well".
CIELA - which holds its next founders’ meeting next week, ahead of a formal launch scheduled for March 1 - says it is also unhappy with the government’s pledge to ban letting agency fees imposed on tenants in England.
“CIELA’s view is that this is an overreaction by Shelter and the government to the exploitative behaviour of a small number of rogue agents, and a sledgehammer to crack a nut which will have adverse unintended consequences” says a statement from the organisation, which says it is to lobby its members about “whether they feel enough is being done to combat the looming threat of the ban.”