Germany-based real estate marketplace ImmoScout24 has had a lawsuit filed against it on the basis of misleading advertising.
ImmoScout24 subscribers can create online application portfolios when buying a property — including a Schufa credit report — which is now at the epicenter of a lawsuit.
The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV) has taken issue with the wording of ImmoScout's offer for implying that prospective buyers are obliged to produce a Schufa report before visiting a property—which the VZBV says is not the case.
It subsequently filed a lawsuit against ImmoScout24 and handed it over to the Berlin Regional Court.
Rosemarie Rodden, Legal Enforcement Advisor at VZBV, said the firm "considers this advertising to be misleading."
On its website, ImmoScout24 does not specifically say that a Schufa report is required but also fails to indicate that the report is not required, according to the VZBV.
VZBV asserts that ImmoScout24's implication that customers need to prove their creditworthiness this early in the process is against the law, with documents including Schufa reports only becoming a requirement when a rental agreement is near completion.
ImmoScout24 is Germany's number one real estate portal, with owner company Scout24 distributing dividends in excess of €66m last year. The firm also recently partnered up with financing firm Europace to introduce real-time financing solutions for buyers.