Online Blacklist of UK Agents

June 19, 2009 by Emma Sorensen 


According to a story posted on, UK estate agents who are known to authorities, having been given warnings or been banned from working, will be revealed in an online “blacklist”.

The online register affects residential real estate agents in the UK and is published by the Office of Fair Trading, who is “naming and shaming” rule breakers in the public register - now available online for the first time. reports that under the Estate Agents Act 1979 the OFT can issue warning and prohibition orders against individual estate agents or agencies who have broken the law, and the register will allow consumers to find out which agents the OFT has taken action against.

Agents can be penalised for engaging in residential estate agency work but failing to belong to an approved redress scheme, failing to comply with the requirements of the law, or engaging in specified undesirable practices. They can also find their way onto the list by engaging in fraud, any other dishonesty, violence, and discrimination of any kind.

“Under the law, estate agents must ensure they act in the best interests of their clients and that buyers and sellers are treated honestly, fairly and promptly. The online register gives consumers direct access to important information explaining where we have taken action against estate agents,” quotes Mike Haley, OFT Director of Consumer Practice, as saying.

The register can be browsed alphabetically or by date, and serves as a deterrent to agents, as well as a useful resource for consumers. It has the added bonus of allowing consumers to report any repeat offenders to the OFT who might have breached existing warnings or prohibition orders.

Meanwhile, the proposed mandatory licensing scheme for all UK based letting and managing agents continues to be debated. Responses to the government proposal are being accepted until 7 August 2009.

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