Mystery surrounds duplicate images in Zoopla listings

EYE’s attention has been drawn to the Zoopla listings of a north London estate agency, Mark Ashley & Co, which operates from an office in Watling Avenue, Burnt Oak, Edgware.

The agent’s website says:

“As Independent Estate Agents with over 40 years experience in the business we offer a service individually catered for your needs and with the advent of the internet our size, and location knows no boundaries with Mark Ashley also succeeding throughout the Home Counties.”

The firm’s reach apparently extends some distance beyond the Home Counties as among the listings that the company has on Zoopla is this one for a £185,000 terraced house in Rowan Close, Nottingham:

However,there is a striking similarity with a property in Falcon Drive, Stanmore, listed for £350,000 on Rightmove by Frost Partnership; and another £350,000 property in Uxbridge Road, Hillingdon, listed by Gibbs Gillespie on their own site:

Up in Leicester, Mark Ashley & Co have this £70,000 flat in Lyle Close.

But here is a remarkably similar looking place in Boxwood Close, West Drayton. It’s £162,000 and on the market with Coopers. Oh, and in Holmlea Road, Datchet, for £155,000 through Horler & Associates of Windsor:

And so it goes on. A £275,000 property in Colchester, also apparently a £260,000 property in Cheltenham:

A £365,000 semi-detached in Rainham also apparently a detached £550,000 house near Hemel Hempstead:

And a £145,000 maisonette in Northampton also apparently a maisonette in Leciester but this time for offers in excess of £175,000:

We asked Zoopla about the apparent similarities in the images and a spokesperson told us:

“We have a zero tolerance approach towards misleading listings. If an agent, seller or home hunter believes a listing is misleading we’d urge them to contact us so our dedicated Compliance team can quickly investigate this and take action.”

EYE contacted Mark Ashley & Co by email and by telephone for comment yesterday but so far we have not heard back from them.

We also took a look at the firm’s Google reviews.

We would like to ask them about how their listings appear to share the same photographs as those of other, completely different, properties listed with other agents in other parts of the country.

We’d also be pleased to hear from the other agents who appear to have the same photographs as those in the Mark Ashley & Co listings.

If readers have come across similar instances of image duplication, do let us know.





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  1. PeeBee

    Zoopla, May 2020:

    “We have a zero tolerance approach towards misleading listings.”

    Zoopla, December 2016:

    “Where any agent deliberately attempts to circumvent these processes and manipulate their listings to mislead consumers, we have a dedicated compliance team whose job it is to identify these rogue agents and remove them permanently from our platform.”

    Dozens of properties are being #RElisted to the platform on a daily basis – more like hundreds most days – by, I am saddened to say, an increasing number of Agents and developers.  So far, they seem have acted on one or two – but despite the promises of 2016, those “Agents” are still advertising on the platform.

    It is a ridiculous situation when Agents who list their properties correctly are finding themselves and their properties massively  disadvantaged by the #Portaljugglers… an ongoing fight for over four years – and as evidenced by this article clearly one that the absentee “industry authorities” and at least one major portal now seem to have abandoned any effort to police in order to resolve the issue.

    Thank you, EYE, for bringing this issue back to somewhere nearer the front of the queue of issues within our industry… at least for one day.

    1. PeeBee

      I think it’s necessary to point out here that this isn’t just a Zoopla issue.  Mark Ashley & Co also advertises their properties on Rightmove – and probably a large number of cheapo / free-to-list portals as well.
      You ‘game’ one – you generally ‘game’ them all.  Rightmove have however somewhat tightened their processes on the likes of #RElistings, and appear able to stop some of the shenanegans in their tracks – but clearly not this abject *********** (credit: Jonnie).
      As the Zoopla spokesperson has delivered the platform’s response, perhaps the Rightmove reps that float invisibly(!) amongst us here on EYE could ask their own portal to produce some soundbites to fill a column inch or two on the subject for EYE?
      I’ll be asking the same question on Tw@tter…

  2. smile please

    Wow that is terrible.

    1. PeeBee

      Issue drawn to Zoopla’s attention (via Twitter) on 7 May, Smile Please.
      Zoopla’s response:

  3. LifeAgent

    Sadly in our local area (NW London) this agent is v well known as being the stereotypical “shark” Estate Agent who lives up to the poor reputation that many of us are often tarnished with.

    For example they intimidate homeowners by knocking on vendors doors when a new “FS” board goes up outside their house, they falsely advertise cheaper similar properties without vendors knowledge (often from their own archive files), oh and yes they openly portal juggle without any qualms or concerns knowing nothing will or can be done!

    There really is nothing positive we hear about them as we often have previous vendors or landlords of theirs come to us after enduring bullying or threatening tactics and they just continue to get up to other old school tricks, like making up false offers when vendors wish to dis-instruct them at the end of an agency term, and telling clients they will sue them for their fees if they don’t agree to this or that….they don’t bother to carry out any pre-instruction protocol (like commissioning EPC’s or ID/R to R checks).

    We have never understood how they seem to get away with it without any repercussions and continue to trade.

    We have also heard many stories of how they don’t put offers forward to clients and not telling Landlords that a certain tenant might not have sufficient income to cover the rent…of course the poor landlord only finds out a few months down the line once the tenants have occupation and rent starts to dry up!

    They are truly horrendous people who leave a stain on all they touch and are probably among the worst of the worst in our industry.

    EYE please use your influence to expose these charlatans and alert the authorities as we have made complaints to Z/RM and also get the usual standard reply but nothing ever happens or is followed up.

    1. PeeBee

      “Sadly in our local area (NW London) this agent is v well known as being the stereotypical “shark” Estate Agent who lives up to the poor reputation that many of us are often tarnished with.”
      Genuinely sorry if this ‘sounds’ harsh – but there is only one way to ask this question:
      So why did it take PropertyIndustryEye to report on the ‘accidental’ findings of this numpty, nearly 300 miles away, to bring this Agent’s apparent wrongdoings to light – when seemingly you all know about them?

  4. LifeAgent

    Hi PeeBee

    We have known about their despicable practices for years and I assure it’s not through lack of trying to bring them to the attention of the relevant authorities!

    We have reported them to Trading Standards, have encouraged our landlords and vendors who were previous clients of MA to report them too and even emailed them links, but we can only do so much!

    Z & RM have been alerted to obvious portal juggling examples in our local area, they often use the wrong pictures and create false cheaper adverts to gain enquires which they then try to convert to other properties they have for higher listing prices.

    We have no policing powers so PIE  we thank you for highlighting these rogue agents and bringing them to the public’s attention, but please do use your media influence and take this futher as you will not only be helping other agents but also protecting the public.

    1. PeeBee

      Life Agent
      Apologies for not crediting you with having potentially made any effort to bring a stop to this Agent’s practices, as you state you clearly have.
      I actually appreciate where you are coming from and know just how badly such issues are being ‘dealt’ with – when I was on the coalface I tried to report an Agent on my patch… and was told by TS that it would be best if I was to contact the Agent myself and resolve the issue – they even gave me the contact details of the owner who was apparently expecting to hear from me!  FFS!
      @NTSELAT seem to have abandoned their Tw@tter page – and certainly don’t appear to take a gnat’s chuff of notice of the multitude of tweets I copy them in on highlighting unsavoury practices that they have previously stated here on EYE that they are policing rigidly.
      In case Mr Munro or his staff are reading I will repeat the mantra – this is happening On. YOUR. Watch.
      I have been blocked on Tw@tter by @ASA_UK and @Trustpilot among others – but nothing will stop me trying.
      I feel your pain – but in the immortal words of Norman Stanley Fletcher:
      “Don’t let the b@st@rds grind you down”. 
      There are ways to make a difference – EYE being a fine example.  Despite Frau Renshaw’s unfortunate absence, ‘Eye Correspondent’ took this and ran with it and as you rightly say, deserves a big pat on the back for bringing it to the attention of our industry – and to the wider world too, no doubt, as often these things are picked up by mainstream press (which I am working on now!)
      So – to go with the earlier apology I also send a big thank you , LifeAgent, for your past efforts in relation to this Agency.
      Like the article says, EYE are here to investigate and report on similar cases – I hope Agents do just that.
      Our industry CAN BE a level playing field – but in terms of the current portal landscape the bumps look like mountains and the divots appear as deep and wide as oceans.
      We can only hope that the seemingly endless caravan of new platforms coming on line have learnt from their mistakes in order to provide a ‘gaming-free’ environment for the benefit of the public and honest Agents alike.

  5. KByfield04

    Don’t think there’s any mystery here-n surely an agent conducting themselves like this should have their account frozen and all listings hidden from view until they can give the applicable portal a satisfactory explanation. If they can, account reinstated, if not- removed and banned for 5 years. This doesn’t help consumers, agents or portals- so get rid!

    1. PeeBee

      WELL SAID, KB!
      (But there’s a chuffload of Agents and developers that won’t be agreeing so readily with you…)

  6. PeeBee

    “I can’t help thinking if a common link between these companies could be the same computer software.”
    Erm… NO, Taff – this is deliberate.
    It is fairly evident that at least some of the photos shown here – and a good deal many more hosted on Zoopla and Rightmove – have been ‘lifted’ by screenshotting them on a mobile or tablet.
    You can see the black lines at the top or bottom of the images above, which are instant giveaways.  You don’t get that when you upload your own pics – just on portal listings.
    You may also notice that some of the images on the Mark Ashley “listings” are cropped compared to the originals – again primarily  because of the limitations of the device used to screenshot them.
    No excuses here – they’ve been rumbled good’n’proper.  And as ‘LifeAgent’ has stated – not for the first time.
    It’s what will happen from here that will set the bar – and show to the industry for once and for all which mast the colours of Zoopla, Rightmove and Co are actually nailed to.

    1. PeeBee

      I take it ‘Taff’ awoke to the smell of coffee and deleted his/her/they’s (delete as appropriate) post.. but I will leave my response here nevertheless.

  7. PeeBee


    It seems that all of Mark Ashley’s listings have been removed from Rightmove; and of the 93 that were on Zoopla, only 20 remain – but FIVE listings have been “Just added” in the last 24 hours.


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