07 September 2016
After requesting, and being granted, 56 days to reply substantively to the OTM Action Group’s Letter Before Action, Agents’ Mutual have chosen not to address any of the concerns raised by the Group. 56 days is twice as long as would usually be normal.
The estate agents believe they were misled by Agents’ Mutual over promises made on joining that their subscription fees would always be equal to, or lower than, members who joined at a later date. Their lengthy letter before action, which ran to 24 pages including documentary evidence, set out the factual background of events before and after the launch of the OnTheMarket portal and then went on to explain how these events damaged their businesses.
Eversheds LLP, acting on behalf of Agents’ Mutual, have informed the Group that their client can’t reply substantively until they are supplied with the Information Memoranda from every single member of the Action Group. Agents’ Mutual provided these documents to the Group members in the first place. All of this information is already in Agents’ Mutual’s possession. The letter from Eversheds completely fails to appreciate how annoyed and disappointed OTM-affiliated members are with Agents’ Mutual.
Nick Crayson of Crayson Estate Agents, who sits on the Steering Committee of the OTM Action Group, said:
“Our members generously agreed to Agents’ Mutual’s request for an unusually lengthy period of time to properly respond to our detailed Letter Before Action."
“To now send a letter claiming that they can’t address the issues raised, because they haven’t been provided with documents which they created in the first place, shows that Agents’ Mutual are happy to act cynically in order to frustrate the claims of the OTM Action Group."
“There is no reason why Agents’ Mutual cannot respond substantively to the issues raised. They created the very same documents which they now seek from our members."
“Our members are happy to meet with Agents’ Mutual to attempt to resolve these matters informally but it is impossible to do so if Agents’ Mutual refuse to set out their response to our claims. In the meantime, it is no wonder that so many Agents’ Mutual members have simply stopped paying their subscriptions.”
The OTM Action Group is open to new members.