An agent is defying attempts by a property portal to get him to pay subscriptions for two branches - because he says he has only one.
Ian King of Humberstones Homes in the West Midlands has contacted Estate Agent Today on several occasions in recent months, including details of invoices from OnTheMarket showing - amongst other things - a Humberstones branch that he closed.
King says he is still being charged for his long-closed Bearwood office because of “small print in the original [OTM] listing agreement.”
The dispute has been going on for some months, with King providing evidence to OTM that the second branch no longer operates.
Other portals accept that he has only one office and charge him accordingly, and King says OTM’s fees are now as expensive as Rightmove’s and higher than Zoopla’s.
In correspondence this week King tells OnTheMarket: “As discussed with yourselves I will not be paying for an office that doesn’t exist anymore so £354 will be what I pay hereon in.
“I have made my feelings clear by email and on social media – do not rip me off for two offices when I don’t have two anymore. You can quote whatever sub clause you want. You will get £354 for the duration of the term and nothing else. If you continue this harassment I will be cancelling at the end of the term too.”
A representative of OTM’s credit control team responds, thanking him for the email and saying: “I have noted your comments but must inform you that we will continue the chase process as per the contract.”
King retaliates with a response urging OTM to “chase away” because he will not pay.
He adds: “I’m sure the shareholders will be ecstatic knowing that all the agents are jumping ship at the end of their contracts due to the highly unprofessional and inflexible nature of OnTheMarket.”
Yesterday evening a spokesperson for OnTheMarket told EAT: “We do not comment on the specifics of our agents’ contracts.”