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Case Study: Noise issue could cost agent £9000

13th January 2019

Our latest case study come from a recent news item to have hit the industry and national press.

A disgruntled tenant is claiming £9,000 in damages from an agent and landlord who, in his litigation, he claims rented him a flat with an excessive noise issue.

The tenant had advised the agency that he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and specifically requested a quiet property.

Despite expressing concerns about the ground floor flat he moved in but found that the noise levels were a problem.

He was being woken up at 2am by neighbours upstairs and by the nearby London Underground.

He moved out after 10 days claiming he could not live nor work from the flat.

The case is ongoing with no decision as yet but brings into focus again the issue of providing sufficient information to prospective tenants and purchasers to enable them to make informed decision; known as material information.

Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations it is the responsibility of landlords, vendors and agents to provide material information up front. Failure to do so could result in fines and reputational damage.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this individual case, it is important that agents understand that material information is subjective and therefore it is important to not only establish as much relevant information up front from the vendor/landlord at the outset, but also to be establishing from tenants and purchasers what their own requirements are.

The practical advice is to err on the side of caution and be proactive. As with all compliance activity, it is important to establish a process for asking the right questions and evidencing your activity.

If you do have complaints raised, it is important to be able to demonstrate how you asked the questions and document all responses.

 

 

Why not take it a step further? Have your vendors complete the solicitor’s Property Information and Fixtures & Fittings Forms (and Leasehold Form if relevant) at the outset to enable you to provide full disclosure, and help them get a step closer to being ‘contract ready.’ Instruct a solicitor at instruction and have the contract ready to go once an offer is accepted.

Compliance in a Box from Landmark is the simple pay-as-you-go compliance toolkit.

Make sure you are asking the right questions of your clients, and documenting their response. Compliance Packs help agents fulfil their obligations under CPRs and AML. From one account you can get:

  • Electronic property information questionnaire & fixtures & fittings form for CPRs
  • Electronic client verification for AML inc PEPs, Sanctions & Checks
  • Land Registry ownership & boundary confirmation
  • Foreign national checks… and more

with a complete time and date stamped audit trail of all compliance activity.

Contact Samantha Peacock at Landmark today to try Compliance in a Box in 2019.   01524 220013/sam.peacock@landmark.co.uk

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