Estate agents accused of favouring buy-to-let purchasers

Estate agents accused of favouring buy-to-let purchasers

Estate agents have been accused of deliberately favouring buy-to-let landlords over private buyers as purchasers, so that their lettings departments can also win business.
A report in the London Evening Standard, which names both Ludlow Thompson and Foxtons, suggests agents are tipping off property investors about homes before they are advertised.

While the original story seems to have come from a former employee of Ludlow Thompson who has now written a book (How to Beat your Agent: A Complete Guide to Residential Property Letting), the Standard did some mystery shopping of its own.

The report does not make for comfortable reading, particularly when the legalities are mentioned.

The Property Ombudsman’s Code of Practice for estate agents makes it clear that by law, agents must not discriminate against buyers who refuse to accept related services from the agent.

The law tells agents: “You must not discriminate, or threaten to discriminate, against a prospective buyer of the seller’s property because that person declines to accept that you will (directly or indirectly) provide related services to them.”

Discrimination includes “giving details of properties for sale first to those who have indicated they are prepared to let you provide services to them”.

Ludlow Thompson strongly refuted the claims.

More here: