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OFT v Foxtons – early hints

Its 9.30 and we’re waiting for the judge to give his decision which should start 10.00. It appears that both parties have had early copies of his judgment and hints have started to leak. First indications appear to show that the oft have succeeded on the matter of charging commission to landlords who sell their property to tenants or occupiers and this type of provision may well now be considered unfair.

The oft have further succeeded in relation to charging commission to landlords who have divested themselves of their interest in the property and where the new landlord renews a tenancy with the original tenants. It appears, however, that charging of renewal commission in other circumstances even where the agent has not been directly involved in the negotiations of the renewal is acceptable provided that the terms of the agreement are expressed in plain and intelligible language. It may well be that many clauses currently in use fall short on that requirement.

It seems that some early comments on the news media this morning may have been premature. More information as we get it.

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