Oft Slaps Fine On Agent That Is No Longer In Business

Date Published 13 March 2013

An estate agency that is no longer in business has been fined £2,000 for failing to register with the Office of Fair Trading.

The OFT says that it repeatedly contacted and advised Oliver James between November 2011 and February 2012 of the need to register, but that he failed to do so.

Oliver James Estates and Land Agents – which should not be confused with agents that have similar names – had an office in Harrogate. Its website carries a notice saying that the business – described as Harrogate’s number one agent – had been `wrapped up and closed down` due to personal reasons.

The telephone number given on the site was answered, but by a different business which said that the agents had ceased trading last year.

An OFT spokesman told EAT that it was aware that the agency was no longer functioning. He said: `The fine is for the period they were operating.`

All estate agents need to register with the OFT under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

Kate Pitt, OFT deputy director of anti-money laundering, said: `We will not hesitate to take action against any estate agents and lenders that fail to register with the OFT.`