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Trading Standards Investigations into Lettings Agents and Property Managers

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Dear Bexley 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

Bexley Council, Bexley Borough Council

Information request
Our reference: 4701696

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Dear Sir/Madam
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 3 November
2017 concerning:

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.
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 and we aim to send a response by 1 December 2017 (which is 20 working
days beginning on the first working day after the date we received your
request).
 
In some cases, a fee may be payable. If we decide a fee is payable, we
will send you a fee notice and we will require you to pay the fee before
proceeding with your request.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 may restrict the release of some or
all of the information you have requested. We will carry out an assessment
and if any exemptions apply to some or all of the information then we
might not provide that information to you. We will inform you if this is
the case and advise you of your rights to request an internal review and
to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.
 
We will also advise you if we cannot provide you with the information
requested for any other reason together with the reason(s) why and details
of how you may appeal (if appropriate).
 
 
Regards,

Annmarie Carroll
Complaints and FOI Officer
London Borough of Bexley , Civic Offices , 2 Watling Street , Bexleyheath
, Kent , DA6 7AT
Tel: 0203 045 3923
Email: [email address]
www.bexley.gov.uk

Bexley Council, Bexley Borough Council

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: 4701696

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Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 3 November 2017.
 
Please find attached our response to your request.
 
Regards,

Annmarie Carroll
Complaints and FOI Officer
London Borough of Bexley , Civic Offices , 2 Watling Street , Bexleyheath
, Kent , DA6 7AT
Tel: 0203 045 3923
Email: [email address]
www.bexley.gov.uk

Dear Ms Powell,

In relation to your reply dated the 9th November 2017 reference 4701696

I am writing to request an internal review of Bexley Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Trading Standards Investigations into Lettings Agents and Property Managers'.

1. There are some points that need clarifying as it appears the request was misinterpreted.

1.1. The request stipulated "Action Taken" meaning criminal and or civil action as "Warning Issued", “Referred To” and “Relevant Comment “infers a wider remit such as letter of warning or advance to civil and or criminal proceedings, even no issue found. This means any and all investigations relating to Lettings agents and or Property Management Companies carried out regardless of eventual outcome.

1.2. The request stipulated the initial time period of 5 years to be extended to 10 years if less than 15 investigations have been carried out in the 5 year period. You supplied partial details 2 investigations for 2017 alone. This can be interpreted as only 2 investigations taking place since 2007. With this and point 1.1 in mind please clarify the details including the number of investigations as per the request.

2. Reconsideration or Internal review of the following: That you are withholding the name of the company or companies in the interest of the public under a section 31.

2.1 Although there are circumstances in which it could this can be applied, the cases in which the information is being sort are those which protecting the public against breaches of prohibited civil and or criminal practices covered by legislation and regulation and disclosure of identity is in the best interest of the public. It is paramount that the public are made aware of such actions in order to make an informed decision on the veracity of a company that they have, are and potentially be dealing with. This is borne by the fact that many local authorities and government agencies have disclosed in the public domain via the press and FOI requests, those companies by name in the public’s interest, those include in the past year the London councils of Kingston upon Thames, Camden and Newham that I am aware.

Given the precedent in 2.1 and in identical FOI requests to other London Authorities, the disclosure of the offending companies’ names as a matter of course requires that you review and reconsider your position in this regard.

A full history of my relevant FOI requests and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

Yours faithfully,

Mark Doyle

Bexley Council, Bexley Borough Council

Information request
Our reference: 4701696

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Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for your request for a review received on 13 November 2017. I am
sorry that you are dissatisfied with our attempts to handle your request
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
We will provide you with a written response by 11 December 2017. If there
are any delays in providing you with a response we will let you know.
 
In the meantime if you have any further queries about your complaint, you
can contact me on the telephone number given above.
 
Regards,

Lorraine King
Complaints and Freedom of Information Officer
London Borough of Bexley , Civic Offices , 2 Watling Street , Bexleyheath
, Kent , DA6 7AT
Tel: 0203 045 3855
Email: [email address]
www.bexley.gov.uk

Bexley Council, Bexley Borough Council

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: 4701696

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Dear M Doyle
 
Please see the Council's response to your request.
Regards,

Lorraine King
Complaints and Freedom of Information Officer
London Borough of Bexley , Civic Offices , 2 Watling Street , Bexleyheath
, Kent , DA6 7AT
Tel: 0203 045 3855
Email: [email address]
www.bexley.gov.uk

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.

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