Court rules that ‘misleading omission’ was made about property

In what appears to be one of the first cases of its kind, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations have been successfully used in a prosecution.

In the case, a landlord was held to have made a misleading omission.

He had not told his tenants that their flats were subject to a planning notice.

The case was brought jointly by Southwark Trading Standards and the council’s planning enforcement team against Majid Saniinejad.

He had converted a flat into two smaller dwellings which breached the council’s minimum size standards.

One of the flats had no window in its bedroom, breaching fire safety and building regulations.

The landlord had let out one flat before being served a planning enforcement notice requiring the use of the property as two dwellings to cease.

Saniinejad and his company, Hertford (UK), appealed against this notice and he subsequently let out the second flat.

Following this second letting, he lost his appeal and was given six months to comply with the notice.

Despite this, Saniinejad went on to renew the first tenancy for a further 12 months.

He also failed to comply with the enforcement notice, and the long-running case ended with a district judge finding Saniinejad and his company guilty of misleading omissions under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The matter has now been remitted to Croydon Crown Court for sentencing and confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

At the time the offences were committed, the maximum penalty for breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations was £5,000 in a magistrates’ court, or an unlimited fine in a crown court.

As far as EYE is aware, we know of no other successful prosecutions which have used CPRs – although we are sure our readers will put us right if necessary.

A court case which found against a letting agent in Wales and where the disclosure issues revolved around a mineshaft which had led to an earlier fall-through was subsequently overturned on appeal.

Paul Gander, a trading standards team leader at Southwark Council, has written up the case fully here

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4 Comments

  1. Ric

    I am seeing SO SO many CPR cases waiting to happen around me….. some real humdingers…. two vals recently…….

    1. Should we mention anywhere that running through/under our back garden is a Fuel Tunnel for the local Airport (the airport is 10 miles or so away the tunnel is less than 20ft down)…. (Wow I never knew that 25 years of selling locally) it never causes a problem [they said], but for the fact last year they did spend a few weeks digging up to check a fault……erm YES needs mentioning (Never got that instruction) cant see it mentioned and guessing if I request a viewing nobody will tell me…. perhaps I should check before saying that!

    next one…

    2. You wouldn’t know it, but under that section of lawn there is a covered well, it is about 15ft diameter and about 50 to 60ft deep, we got a builder in to cover it with a concrete slab and turf over so nobody would know….. and under the property there is a tank where the water went to which is the size of a small plunge pool. Would we need to mention this “erm YES” (Didn’t get that one either!)… no mention on details and guessing the same as above, but again I should check perhaps!!

    Bets on would we be told about these before travelling to view…. I think both would change the mind to view of a few families with kiddies.

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  2. Robert May

    Never mind that Ric what you just mentioned  was ( probably still is) an official secret that none of us should know about. I had to sign a bit of paper in 1982 that said I knew nothing about that thing of which you just spoke.

    If you give the address, lat/long  would  do, Alan Qaeda might be interested in getting the details.

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    1. Ric

      They will have needed to recruit Tyrian Lanniister to make use of that way in to the airport. (Game Of Throne Fans may know what I mean)

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      1. Robert May

        As well as the terrorist threat some scally might decide they can run their Sierra on it.  20 ft is only 3 and a bit graves.

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