In the UK, the OnTheMarket Action Group has released a letter from over 50 estate agents to the real estate portal's parent company Agents’ Mutual.
Prepared by solicitor Ian Carson of Tollers LLP, the 'Letter Before Action' document is addressed to OTM chief executive Ian Springett and formally sets out the agents' grievances . It w, the rebel agents' lawyers, and addressed to .
Estate Agent Today (EAT) has published a statement from the action group, summarising the letter.
“The estate agents believe they were misled by Agents Mutual over promises made on joining that their membership package, in particular their subscription fees would be more favourable than that offered to members who joined at a later date.
“The letter sets out the factual background of events before and after the launch of the OnTheMarket portal and then goes on to explain how these events have damaged their businesses.
EAT includes some examples of the conduct engaged in by Agents Mutual cited in the letter:
“- Offering new joiners a twelve month or three-year contract rather than a five-year contract;
“- A flat fee of only £50 per month per office regardless of volume or location;
“- The option to join as a “subscriber” rather than a member, allowing new joiners to leave at any time without future liability;
“- Instances where Agents Mutual have removed agent’s properties from OnTheMarket.
“The Action Group members are seeking a number of remedies from Agents' Mutual including rescission of their contracts and/or damages.”
Agents' Mutual has provided the following response:
"We understand that some agents are considering legal action against Agents' Mutual for alleged misrepresentations made in relation to pricing policy.
"We have no reason to believe that there are any grounds for such action. The Board and management team of Agents’ Mutual have at every stage of the company’s inception and development taken appropriate legal advice."