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Estate agent fined for misdescription of Lurgan properties – 09/03/2010

Portadown estate agent Williams Estate Agents (N.I.) Ltd, was fined £300 at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, for misrepresenting properties offered for sale in Lurgan.

In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Williams Estate Agents (N.I.) Ltd were convicted of one charge brought under the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991, and acquitted on another similar charge.

An investigation by the Trading Standards Service, in October 2008, revealed that the estate agent had misdescribed new properties at Toberhewney Lodge Lurgan as being finished with “pink pebble driveways”, when in actual fact the driveways were to be left unfinished. The court heard evidence of how the misdescription was contained in sales brochures produced and distributed by Williams. Despite receiving a complaint from a purchaser that her house had not been finished with a pink pebble driveway, the estate agent persisted in marketing the houses on the new development with misleading information.

Richard Knipe of the Trading Standards Service said: “With the current market conditions it is imperative that all those involved in the sale of houses tell the truth about all aspects of the property. All estate agents need to be able to demonstrate due diligence in relation to any description they attribute to a property that they are marketing. Unfortunately, having been made aware of the problem, in this instance Williams Estate Agents (N.I) Ltd fell short of the required standard”.

Anyone who believes that a property has been misdescribed to them by an estate agent or property developer should contact Domain Scams on 0845 600 6262/ 028 9025 3900, or visit the Domain Scams website.

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