A group of landlords are seeking action against an estate agent to gain compensation for fees taken without their knowledge. This case will very much turn on the contents of the contracts in force between the landlords and the estate agent. The estate agent deems the contracts to set out clearly the charges. This argument will boil down to the terms of the contract and what the parties have agreed. In consideration of this case commerciality will have to take precedent. For any estate agent to potentially loose 55 landlords, this will be a massive hit for business. The question in dealing with this case may end up being what is the cost of the loss of business v the cost of the fees allegedly taken without agreement.
A group of 55 landlords has joined together to lodge a £2.14m claim against Foxtons, accusing the estate agency of charging them hefty commission payments without their knowledge. “We believe these charges to landlords are unlawful as they are not sufficiently disclosed, so the landlords cannot give fully informed consent to them. This is against industry codes of practice,” said Chris Haan of Leigh Day, who is handling the case. However, Foxtons said it disputes the claims. "We pride ourselves on providing a high quality and professional service to all of our landlords. We believe our fees represent good value and are clearly communicated to landlords and detailed within the terms of each contract. This case reflects a small minority of landlords and we believe is entirely without merit," said a spokesman.