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OFT bans Croydon-based estate agent

The Office of Fair Trading has issued a prohibition order banning a Croydon estate agent for failing to disclose a personal interest in the sale of a property which stood to make her £65,000.

Marcia Whyte, who ran Executive Estates in Brighton Road, South Croydon, failed to disclose to a potential vendor that she was seeking to acquire his property, and also failed to disclose her personal interest to a potential purchaser Whyte intended to re-sell the property to.

Had the transaction proceeded Whyte stood to make a secret profit of £65,000.

In addition, the estate agent received a deposit from the potential purchaser, even though doing so is unlawful where an agent has a personal interest in the property, even when that interest has been duly disclosed.

OFT director of consumer protection Mike Haley says: “Estate Agents must immediately disclose to prospective vendors and purchasers that they have a personal interest in the sale of a property they are marketing. This is specifically to prevent them from making a secret profit, as Marcia Whyte would have done in this case. We take seriously any complaints of an estate agent potentially misleading consumers by failing to disclose a personal interest.’

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