Agents using advertising photos of my properties?

by Readers Question

11:33 AM, 23rd May 2016
About 4 years ago

Agents using advertising photos of my properties?

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Agents using advertising photos of my properties?

Last year I used a few estate agents to let my two properties in two different areas. Somehow, one of them was successful in letting both. fake

I however noticed that six months on two agents (one of them who was successful) are still using the photos and address of my properties on their general property websites showing uprated rents even on what I achieved.

I feel this is unfair and also cheating as:

a) Using photos of my properties to advertise their business;

b) The properties are actually not on the market so fooling potential customers;

c) Speculating rents.

Please advise if I can take any legal action against them?

Abhi


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Comments

Mark Alexander

12:51 PM, 23rd May 2016
About 4 years ago

As founder of this website and also as a shareholding director in a letting agency I take exception to your comments.

The original poster has not used the words "Let/By". His complaint is that his agents are still marketing a property which is tenanted but at higher rents. In my opinion this is sharp practice and certainly not an activity that I would condone.

It smacks of desperation on the part of the agent to me. It could also be very unsettling to the existing tenant.
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Abhi Bhasin

13:02 PM, 23rd May 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Cameron David" at "23/05/2016 - 12:37":

I am surprised at your choice of words Cameron; but I am happy to respond to you in order.

- "I really don’t .... on this site ?"
I am not showing any hatred neither I have seen it on this website.

- "They have been successful in renting out .... attract other Landlords."
You probably would be right but I guess you didn't read my concern completely or I should have explained a bit more. The agents are using website like Rightmove...setting out properties still available. They are even updating/uprating rents every month or so.

-"So much resentment against agents from “greedy” Landlords .... earn a living."
Again did you not think even for once that I am actually thinking of tenants first? I hope others in here do!

Alison King

13:07 PM, 23rd May 2016
About 4 years ago

I had a similar issue with an agent when I purchased a property. The property had been advertised by two different agencies. The one I bought the property though removed the advert immediately, but the other agency kept the advert on Zoopla despite several polite requests to remove it. It was a security issue as the property was being renovated and I was terrified of the advert drawing attention to it and squatters or vandals breaking in. I tried contacting Zoopla but they said only the agency advertising the property could request its removal, which I found rather shocking.
Eventually I rang the agency and requested a viewing. When they said the property was no longer available, I said "yes I know; I bought it six weeks ago" and had a little rant. The advert was removed immediately after that.
Usually being polite is the best policy. But some agents give the owner no choice.

Mark Alexander

13:11 PM, 23rd May 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Abhi Bhasin" at "23/05/2016 - 13:02":

I totally see where you are coming from Abhi.

Have you considered reporting the matter to Rightmove and any other portals they are falsely advertising your properties on?

If I were you I would also contact my tenants and let them know what's going on and what you are doing about it. If your agent is up to these tricks then what is he telling your tenants? I've come across agents who contact tenants in this position when their tenancy is coming up for renewal and quoting higher rents without the landlords knowledge. Tenant then moves out, agent advises landlord and then earns a whole new set of fees for re-letting the property. Sometimes the landlord is blissfully unaware and thinks his agent is doing a good job but the opposite of this is the reality. Tenants are the victims of this sharp practice but it's always the landlords that get the blame.

Good landlords and good agents need to work together to stamp out these rogue practices and clean up the sadly tarnished reputation of our industry which has been created by rogue operators.

I trust you will be looking to fire your agent and move to a better one?
.
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Cameron David

13:15 PM, 23rd May 2016
About 4 years ago

Apologies for the misunderstanding. Agents should of course not advertise a property as being available, when in fact it has been rented already. The portals will allow the agent to run the advert as "Let By" for 2 months after it has been let, but if the property is being stated as available .... then they let the agent run the advert indefinately. This is of course not very good practice. You should start by asking them to remove the advert. If they do not, follow this up with a complaint in writing. The agent is required by law to be a member of a redress scheme, which should have the complaints procedure on their web site. They will normally have a period of 8 weeks to respond to your complaint. Local Trading Standards should also be considered. Rogue agents give decent and hard working agents a bad name.

Mandy Thomson

13:22 PM, 23rd May 2016
About 4 years ago

I once came across an agent who advised agency startups to take property photos, such as their own and friend's and relative's, and place them as properties they'd previously sold or let on their website (at least until they managed to get some real commissions).

Mark Lynham

16:52 PM, 23rd May 2016
About 4 years ago

this is a practise that has gone on for many years, not that i agree with it, but it happens...
In my town there are also spots where agents stick up sold/let by boards, they've been there for years and even if you mention it to the council they stay there.... typically blocks of flats.... looks bloody untidy.... sharp practise, but still think in this instance the agent should be contacted in the first instance, i dont at times undertsand the keeness to go legal straight away...

Mark Alexander

17:16 PM, 23rd May 2016
About 4 years ago

Just for the record, I don't think any laws have been broken here but I do think it is sharp practice.

I also support Neil Patterson's comment, ie no loss = no claim.

I suspect the agent will be in breach of T&C's of Rightmove and other portals he's advertising the properties in though. I also suspect Trading Standards would frown on this practice.
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Steve From Leicester

11:25 AM, 24th May 2016
About 4 years ago

The first posting by Cameron David was a bit over the top and I notice he moderated his view in a later posting. I do think his underlying point is fair comment though.

You could simply ask the agent to take the advert down, why do you feel the need to try to punish him or consider it your duty to make him stop doing it again with someone else's property?

Mark A is correct to observe that its sharp practice and I don't condone it. However, real rogue agents do much worse things than this. You've not suffered any loss and I'd politely suggest you keep a sense of perspective about it.

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