OFT issues warning order against former estate agent

The Office of Fair Trading has made a warning order against Darren Russell, the former proprietor of the estate agency and lettings business Homes Direct.

Russell failed to disclose his personal interest in the acquisition of a property from a client, and his personal interest in the sale of his property to a purchaser. He thereby breached section 21 of the Estate Agents Act 1979, as well as the Estate Agents Order 1991.

The OFT launched an investigation into allegations that Russell had breached estate agents law following complaints from consumers. As a result, the OFT has advised Russell that if he fails to comply again with an obligation under section 21 or engages again in the undesirable practice described, he will receive a prohibition order banning him from estate agency work.

Ray Hall, director of services at the OFT, says: “This case shows how the OFT will act to protect consumers and take appropriate action to ensure that estate agents meet their legal obligations.”