viewpoint

The Ombudsman and dual fee agent disputes – the clanking fist of bureaucracy or a helping hand for the consumer?

It might shock (or amuse) you to know that I am very familiar with the environs of the Law Courts. Not because I’ve done anything wrong; on the contrary, for the last 43 years I have felt obliged to try and clean up this nebulous area of the Estate Agents’ Act. This has resulted in some bold, litigious commitments, involving at least 12 court cases.

You have to remember that in certain parts of London, the 70s and 80s property market was more like the Wild West, rather than a gentleman’s understanding of honour between estate agents.

My findings are that in order to justify a sales fee the estate agent must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that they are the ‘effective cause’ of the sale. This is not, nor should be, necessarily time limited, since each case should be judged on its own merits. The consequence is that if the Ombudsman tries to impose a fixed period of six months, as the overriding criteria, certain agents who may have a perfectly legitimate fee claim, could lose out. Read more

The commons should be the servants of the people. Not the other way around

In 1674, the governors of London’s infamous Bedlam mental hospital stated that the venue couldn’t cope with the lunatics therein. Three hundred and forty-five years later, today’s Commons demonstrated a similar spectacle.

After a tortuous referendum process, with eight weeks of a head banging Project Fear campaign, before the largest, democratic vote in UK history, 17.4million people decided to leave the EU, representing 51.9 % of the electoral vote. They didn’t know or want to know, the intricate details of how to implement the decision that they had reached after much soul searching, they left that to the government to organise on their behalf, in the most effective way possible.
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Make sure you’ve done your homework Theresa

Theresa, if you are going to ambush the Commons with your deal, make sure you’ve done your homework first since it’s four strikes and you’re out!

Regular viewers of this blog will gather that in my opinion, Mrs. May should be awarded for her unswerving persistence (or brute obstinacy) in trying to get this Brexit deal through, a feat which resembles a game of Twister combined with three-dimensional tug of war. With all the disparate groups harbouring their own interests, it’s no wonder that May hasn’t asked for the P45 and taken up embroidery. It must be like having five mothers-in-law (heaven forbid) in the car, each with a steering wheel, constantly quarrelling about which direction to take.

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