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OFT bans estate agents for failure to join Ombudsman schemes

The OFT action came after Dunn and Wren were served with a £1000 penalty charge by Southampton Trading Standards Services for not being a member of a redress scheme. After they continually failed to join a scheme, the matter was referred to the OFT.

From 1 October 2008, all residential estate agents are required to join one of the two redress schemes currently approved by the OFT, operated by The Property Ombudsman and the Surveyors Ombudsman Service.

Charles Wallace, OFT Head of Estate Agency Enforcement, said:

‘These are serious breaches and a reminder to all estate agents that by failing to join a redress scheme, they are likely to face a ban from the profession.’

‘Home buyers also have the right to know that the estate agents they are dealing with are trustworthy and observe the law, and we will continue to take the strongest action against those who have demonstrated that they are not.’

The OFT’s online public register, which lists estate agents that have been warned or banned from operating, can be viewed on the Estate Agents Public Register page.

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