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Trading Standards Investigations into Lettings Agents and Property Managers

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Dear Newcastle upon Tyne City 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 (not outstanding due to disapeearance) 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 type 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

Freedom Of Information Requests Mailbox, Newcastle upon Tyne City Council

Reference: FOI 12636

Thank you for your request for information. We are dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We have passed your request to relevant colleagues who will respond within 20 working days starting the working day after receipt of your request.

Regards
Freedom of Information Team

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Ellerington, David, Newcastle upon Tyne City Council

1 Attachment

Mr Doyle. The response from the City of Newcastle as requested. Thanks
David

 

David Ellerington

BA (Hons), DTS, LLB, MBA, MCTSI
Commercial Services Manager

Public Safety and Regulation        Website address
[1]www.newcastle.gov.uk/business/trading-standards
Newcastle City Council 
Civic Centre     Tel +44 0191 2116119
Newcastle upon Tyne     Fax+44 0191 2114946
NE1 8QH E mail [2][email address]

For Restricted and Confidential information, please send to my Secure E
mail address: [3][email address]

Follow us on Twitter: @NewcastleCC. Like us at
facebook.com/NewcastleCityCouncil

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/business/tra...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]

Dear Mr Ellerington

Thank you for your response. However I have a concern which requires clarification as it could be a misinterpretation of the request and to avoid requesting an internal review.

Would you please confirm that no other investigations have taken place between November 2007 and February 2015 as the request clearly stated if there has been less than 15 investigations in 5 years extend the period to 10 years. The reason being is that you have cited 8 investigations and the following legislation applied in part and all that period and could have been applied to Lettings Agents and Property Management companies during that time.

Consumer Rights Act 2015 (Not exclusive to the displaying of fees) Prior to that UTCCR 1999 and SOGA 1979

Companies Act 2007

CPRs 2008 (which apply to all businesses and a primary tool for Trading Standards to take action are the 31 blacklisted practices as well as primary prohibitions of misleading actions and omissions).

Fraud Act 2008 (which the council can act and or petition the CPS and or Police to take action)

Enterprise Act 2002 (to which the council can act and or petition the then OFT and now CMA to take action)

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (Statutory Membership of a Redress Scheme)

Housing Acts (including but not exclusively, offences which can be attributed to agents of the landlord with or without their consent)

Landlord and Tenant Acts (including but not exclusively, offences which can be attributed to agents of the landlord with or without their consent)

I look forward to your repsonse

Yours sincerely,

Mark Doyle

Ellerington, David, Newcastle upon Tyne City Council

Mr Doyle. In response to your latest email, I can confirm that due to a number of factors including that the City Council no longer provides a consumer advice service and indeed hasn't had provided such a service for some 20 years and that Northumbria Police takes primacy on the Fraud Act 2006; a search of the information held on our databases together with the recollection of myself and colleagues has not identified any further information on criminal investigations carried out by this authority's Trading Standards service on letting agents and property management companies. Our most relevant and direct role within this business field has emerged since the implementation of the related provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Hope this response is of assistance. David

David Ellerington
BA (Hons), DTS, LLB, MBA, MCTSI
Commercial Services Manager

Public Safety and Regulation        Website address www.newcastle.gov.uk/business/trading-st...
Newcastle City Council 
Civic Centre     Tel +44 0191 2116119
Newcastle upon Tyne     Fax+44 0191 2114946
NE1 8QH E mail [email address]
For Restricted and Confidential information, please send to my Secure E mail address: [email address]
Follow us on Twitter: @NewcastleCC. Like us at facebook.com/NewcastleCityCouncil

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