A couple who were taken to court for non-payment of an estate agent’s fee have won.
George and Hilary Wood were taken to Weymouth county court by a firm acting for Palmer Snell, a Countrywide brand trading in Lyme Regis.
The Woods were told of a couple who were interested in viewing their home, but by that time had decided only to accept viewers whose own homes were on the market. This couple did not meet the criteria as they had two homes to sell, and Palmer Snell could not provide a timescale. Nothing further was heard from Palmer Snell about this couple, Mr and Mrs Luckraft.
The Woods changed agencies, to Fortnam Smith and Banwell.
Mr and Mrs Luckraft then contacted the new agent. Their circumstances had changed and they went on to buy the property.
The Woods were then told to pay Palmer Snell £7,935. They went to TPO, who rejected their complaint.
The Woods were then issued with legal proceedings.
However, Judge Williams, presiding, dismissed the Palmer Snell claim, saying that to claim a fee an agent must be able to prove they were the effective cause of the transaction. An introduction to the property was not enough. The ruling is in line with that in an earlier Foxtons case, to which the judge referred.
This was Foxtons Ltd v Bicknell & Anr, May 2008 in the Court of Appeal where it was ruled that to claim a commission, the agent must have introduced the buyer to the purchase, rather than to the property.
EYE will report more on this new case tomorrow.