We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Mark please sign in and let everyone know.

Trading Standards Investigations into Lettings Agents and Property Managers

We're waiting for Mark to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Lewisham Borough Council,

Would you please supply the following information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The number of trading standards investigations carried out in relation to letting agents and property management companies in the past 5 years. If the number of investigations is less than 15, please extend the period to 10 years.

With the data please expand using the following criteria:

What was the exact nature of those investigations and outcome on a case by case basis and who were the alleged offending agents involved in those cases. With this in mind please clarify the investigations using the following format taking note of the examples.

Date: xx/xxxx
Company: ABC Agents
Offence/s: Breach of section xx of xxxx Act /Reg xxxx
Nature of Offence: Misleading action/Omission/Money Laundering/Failure to Register for Redress Scheme
Action Taken: Warning Issued/Court Proceedings Taken (Outcome)/ Referred to Police/SFO/CMA/ Or Relevant comment

Date: xx/xxxx
Company: (Under Investigation)
Offence/s: Breach of section xx of xxxx Act /Reg xxxx
Nature of Offence: Misleading action/Omission/Money Laundering/Failure to Register for Redress Scheme
Action Taken: Under Investigation/Proceeding With Court Case/Referred to Police/SFO/CMA/Or Relevant Comment

It is understood that disclosure of any company’s details is not covered by the DPA and therefore cannot be withheld unless there is a current ongoing investigation against the company. In stating this exception only applies to ongoing investigations and does not preclude the company being named relating to previous investigations. If there is an ongoing investigation then please indicate the investigation and omit the company’s name.

Finally, the release of this information is in the public interest and appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

M Doyle

Foi, Customer, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Mr Doyle,

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000
Environmental Information Regulations 2004
Reference No: 424164

Thank you for your recent request for information from the London Borough of Lewisham. Your request is being handled under either the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Your request is being considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, subject to the application of any exemptions/exceptions. Where consideration is being given to exemptions/exceptions, the 20 working day timescale may be extended to a period considered reasonable depending on the nature and circumstances of your request. In such cases you will be notified and, where possible, a revised time-scale will be indicated. In all cases we shall attempt to deal with your request at the earliest opportunity.

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information requested where the request exceeds the statutory limit or where disbursements exceed £10. In such cases you will be informed in writing and your request will be suspended until we receive payment from you or your request is modified and/or reduced.

Your request may require either full or partial transfer to another public authority. You will be informed if your request is transferred. If we are unable to provide you with the information requested we will notify you of this together with the reason(s) why and details of how you may appeal (if appropriate). Please note that the directorate team may contact you for further information where we believe that the request is not significantly clear for us to respond fully.

Kind Regards,

Corporate Complaints and Casework Team

show quoted sections

Rahman, Davina, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Mr Doyle

 

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

Thank you for your request for information held by London Borough of
Lewisham. I have included below a copy of your request, followed by the
Council’s response .

 

The number of trading standards investigations carried out in relation to
letting agents and property management companies in the past 5 years.  If
the number of investigations is less than 15, please extend the period to
10 years.

 

In response: Council records only go back to 2010. Since then 208
complaints have been received about local Estate Agencies.

 

What was the exact nature of those investigations and outcome on a case by
case basis and who were the alleged offending agents involved in those
cases. With this in mind please clarify the investigations using the
following format taking note of the examples.

 

The Council can confirm that  we cannot supply the level of detail
requested above. This is the above requested information is not currently
available due to software incompatibility  issues. Our IT provider is
currently working on a solution to this.

However, to advise and assist you, the Council can confirm that of the 208
complaints received, 120 were notifications  that came via the Citizen’s
Advice Bureau ( thus no action was required by the Council). Additionally,
of those 208 cases, 51 cases required further action from the Council,
with just one case requiring formal  legal court action, which is
currently ongoing.

 

As the aforementioned legal case is on going we would not be able to
supply any details and  we apply Section 31 of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, ‘Law enforcement,‘ to your request.

 

Section 31 states:

(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice—

(a) the prevention or detection of crime,

(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,

(c) the administration of justice,

(d) the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or of any imposition
of a similar nature,

(e) the operation of the immigration controls,

(f) the maintenance of security and good order in prisons or in other
institutions where persons are lawfully detained,

(g) the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the
purposes specified in subsection (2),

(h) any civil proceedings which are brought by or on behalf of a public
authority and arise out of an investigation conducted, for any of the
purposes specified in subsection (2), by or on behalf of the authority by
virtue of Her Majesty’s prerogative or by virtue of powers conferred by or
under an enactment, or

(i) any inquiry held under the [1976 c. 14.] Fatal Accidents and Sudden
Deaths Inquiries (Scotland) Act 1976 to the extent that the inquiry arises
out of an investigation conducted, for any of the purposes specified in
subsection (2), by or on behalf of the authority by virtue of Her
Majesty’s prerogative or by virtue of powers conferred by or under an
enactment.

(2) The purposes referred to in subsection (1)(g) to (i) are—

(a) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply
with the law,

(b) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any
conduct which is improper,

(c) the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify
regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise,

(d) the purpose of ascertaining a person’s fitness or competence in
relation to the management of bodies corporate or in relation to any
profession or other activity which he is, or seeks to become, authorised
to carry on,

(e) the purpose of ascertaining the cause of an accident,

(f) the purpose of protecting charities against misconduct or
mismanagement (whether by trustees or other persons) in their
administration,

(g) the purpose of protecting the property of charities from loss or
misapplication,

(h) the purpose of recovering the property of charities,

(i) the purpose of securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at
work, and

(j) the purpose of protecting persons other than persons at work against
risk to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the actions
of persons at work.

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice
any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).

 

This acts as an exemption notice. We have applied this exemption as
section 31(1) (a). It is important to remember that when information is
released under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, it is considered
released to the wider public. We confirm that  the information is held.

 

This is a qualified exemption and requires the consideration of a public
interest test. In this case we have considered that the public interest
favours non-disclosure. Disclosure of information at this time would
likely prejudice any current or future investigative proceedings in
relation to subsection 2. It is in the wider public interest that the
Council be able to conduct any necessary investigations without prejudice.

 

You are free to use the information provided for your own purposes,
including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes
of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication,
requires the permission of the copyright holder. You may apply for
permission to re-use this information by submitting a request to
[1][email address]

 

You have a right of appeal against this response which you can exercise by
writing to: Information Governance – 1st floor Town Hall Chambers,
Catford, London. SE6 4RU. Or at: [2][email address]

 

This must be requested within 40 working days of the date of this
response.

 

If you remain dissatisfied after receiving this decision, you then also
have a further right of appeal, which you can make in writing, stating
your reasons to the regulating body, the Information Commissioner's
Office.  Contact details: [3]http://www.ico.gov.uk/ or 0303 123 1113 or
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Davina

Corporate Complaints

 

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Mark please sign in and let everyone know.

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org