A family run estate agency faces a string of charges relating to commission fees and “undue influence” exerted on clients.
The charges against Meridian Estate Agents in Bournemouth have been brought by the local council Trading Standards team.
However a number of earlier charges specifically levied against Matthew Ilsley - the director of Illsley and Son Ltd, trading as Meridian Estate Agents - have been dropped.
The Bournemouth Echo reports on the charges against the firm: “The business ... is charged with five counts of trader engaging in a commercial practice which is a misleading action containing false information, three of trader engaging in a commercial practice which is a misleading omission, and two of trader engaging in a commercial practice which was aggressive. The latter two counts alleged that threats were made to withhold a buyer’s access from a property until a purchasing fee was paid.”
Some of the charges against the company allege that buyers of properties were told they had to pay commission fees because the vendor didn’t want to pay it, when in fact Meridian had offered a zero per cent commission deal to the vendor.
Others relate to allegations that the company threatened to prohibit buyers’ access to their homes by harassment, coercion or undue influence in a manner that caused them to take a transactional decision they would not have otherwise taken.
A trial has been scheduled for June.
You can see the local press report here.