OnTheMarket has responded to allegations of unfair pricing policy leveled by its disaffected member agencies who met last week to receive legal advice on their options.
A spokesperson for the property site says "While we by no means take it lightly that some agents are feeling ‘disenfranchised', the broader context remains that the apparent supporters of Mr White’s ‘Action Group’ represent just over 1 per cent of our agents.
"The overwhelming majority of our member agents remain wholly supportive of OnTheMarket.com and of our shared long-term commitment to build the best portal for consumers and agents alike.
“As for the instigation of legal action against Agents' Mutual Limited for alleged misrepresentations made in relation to pricing policy, we have no reason to believe that there are any grounds for legal action," the spokesman says.
“The board and management team of Agents’ Mutual have at every stage of the company’s inception and development taken suitable legal advice.
“We continue to take appropriate legal action to ensure that agents meet their contractual obligations.”
Convened last week for its first meeting by industry consultant Iain White, the OTM Action Group resolved to join forces to fund litigation against Agents' Mutual, the owner of OnTheMarket.
More than 40 separate estate agencies say they believe they were misled by Agents Mutual over promises made on joining that their subscription fees would always be equal to, or lower than, members who joined at a later date.
It has now been suggested that, instead, Agents Mutual have in fact been offering subscriptions at a much lower price, disadvantaging earlier members.
Iain White says the OTM Action Group is now instructing Tollers LLP to act for the Action Group.
“However, this is just the beginning of the process, not the end. Many agents remain undecided about how to proceed and their support will add strength to the Action Group’s position,” White says.
Any businesses affected by these issues are invited to join the group action by 16 May.
Formed in 1877, Tollers LLP is a leading regional law firm with over 170 staff spread across 6 offices. Ian Carson, Partner, has previously acted for claimants in multiple group litigation actions.