Landlords who agreed tenancies via Purplebricks could be liable for large tenant payouts

Landlords who agreed tenancies via Purplebricks could be liable for large tenant payouts

9:10 AM, 14th December 2021, About a month ago 4

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Hi, my name is Melissa Lawford, and I am the property correspondent at The Telegraph.

I’m writing about how landlords who arranged tenancies via Purplebricks could now have to make large payouts to their tenants because they were not served necessary legal (prescribed) documents about their deposits.

I’m keen to talk to landlords who have used Purplebricks and may be affected. What does this mean for you? Please get in touch, melissa.lawford@telegraph.co.uk, 07936135425

Thank you so much for your help,

Melissa

Rachel Mortimer of the Telegraph wrote:

“Purplebricks could face a bill of as much as £30m after it put thousands of landlords at risk of being fined through a failure to follow basic tenancy law.

It is understood that since the online estate agent was founded in 2012, it has failed to properly serve legally required documents to tenants explaining their deposits have been put into a national protection scheme.

Tenants have a six-year limitation period in which to make a claim against either the agent or their landlord. A source with knowledge of the business said Purplebricks’ historic liabilities could be as high as £30m, assuming everyone eligible to make a claim did so.”



Comments

by Denise G

10:42 AM, 14th December 2021, About a month ago

No doubt they will still be able to afford a lawyer good enough to ensure they wriggle out of the consequences of their schoolboy error and pass it back to the Landlords.
We actually had Purplebricks round to either sell or rent one of our properties for us back around 2010ish. Luckily for us it now seems they failed - dismally - to do either.
At the time I was horrified that we'd paid them a non-refundable fee to do absolutely nothing and vowed never to use them again. Tbh I did briefly wonder what actual motivation had they to do anything for anyone when they'd already had all of the money they were going to get from you, but anyway now it seems we may have had a narrow escape and got off pretty lightly.

by Luke P

10:59 AM, 14th December 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 14/12/2021 - 10:42
I used PB to sell our last house and they failed dismally, so I didn't pay their bill and we ended up going to Court. I got a partial win, but think the part I lost was because the Judge thought they were 'just' an advertising site (akin to Zoopla...could've even mixed up the purple colours) and they didn't need to do the viewings that I'd paid for as a separate package and provide, as all their marketing material suggests, a 'dedicated local property expert'...we got nothing but no-less-than six different agents that only ever stuck around for about two weeks each. I only ever saw one and only spoke to two. The Judge scanned through the contract and came to the conclusion that the *only* obligation to me was to 'advertise' and that they'd done by sticking it on their site.

To make matters worse, and in order to bring about the Court case for my unpaid bill to them (only due at the point of sale), they continued to send all Court papers to my old address!! Fortunately the Judge accepted this and disallowed interest.

I paid immediately following the Hearing. Fast forward a few weeks and PB claimed I'd not paid (it turned out their system couldn't close the account without paying EVERYTHING they'd hoped to get...despite the Judge ruling they'd only get part of what they wanted) and despite sending to the Court a copy of the cheque AND my bank statement showing it'd been cashed, I was required to go to yet another Hearing! Just as the first time around, PB didn't attend and I once again showed the Judge my evidence I'd already submitted (this time in hard copy) and he agreed I'd paid. I then asked if I could claim for my time having to attend an unnecessary Hearing and he flatly told me 'No!' and to basically go away.

Needless to say, my advice would be to avoid PB.

by Denise G

11:00 AM, 15th December 2021, About a month ago

Seems I was wrong, but back then I predicted they wouldn't last long with their business model which was going to be exposed whenever someone was obliged to cough up hard cash, (even if it was less than other the estate agents charge), for them basically doing nothing ... and t.b.h. I am surprised whenever I see a PB board that people are still signing on with them.

by Badger

10:51 AM, 19th December 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 15/12/2021 - 11:00
"t.b.h. I am surprised whenever I see a PB board that people are still signing on with them."

A testimony to the power of TV advertising I suppose.

I have often wondered how they afford this...


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