OTM Action Group Send Letter Before Action to Agents Mutual

Lawyers Set Out Four Potential Causes of Action

12 July 2016

More than 50 separate businesses have set out their legal position in a formal Letter Before Action sent by their solcitors, Tollers LLP to Agents Mutual’s Chief Executive, Ian Springett, on Friday.

The estate agents believe they were misled by Agents Mutual over promises made on joining that their membership package, in particular their subscription fees would be more favourable than that offered to members who joined at a later date. The letter sets out the factual background of events before and after the launch of the OnTheMarket portal and then goes on to explain how these events have damaged their businesses.

Some examples of the conduct engaged in by Agents Mutual cited in the letter are as follows:

  • Offering new joiners a twelve month or three-year contract rather than a five-year contract;
  • A flat fee of only £50 per month per office regardless of volume or location;
  • The option to join as a “subscriber” rather than a member, allowing new joiners to leave at any time without future liability;
  • Instances where Agents Mutual have removed agent’s properties from OnTheMarket.
  • The Action Group members are seeking a number of remedies from Agents Mutual including rescission of their contracts and/or damages.

    Ian Carson, Partner at Tollers LLP, said:

    “As the Letter Before Action demonstrates, our clients are very serious about their claims against Agents Mutual."

    “It is hoped that matters can be resolved without recourse to litigation and we have invited Agents Mutual to attend a mediation. However, our clients are serious about pursuing legal action should it become necessary.”

    Nick Crayson, MD of Crayson Estate Agents and a member of the Action Group said:

    “As an early adopter and supporter of Agents Mutual, we made a significant commitment of time and money to helping OnTheMarket become a viable competitor to Rightmove and Zoopla. However, the way Agents Mutual have treated me and my business dismays me and so I am committed to ensuring that they are held to account.”

    Any Gold or Silver Agents Mutual members who consider they have been affected by these issues are welcome to join the Action Group by visiting www.otmactiongroup.com.”