Foxtons has been served with a ‘letter of claim’ which warns that unless it enters into talks concerning fees charged to 55 landlords, High Court proceedings will begin.
This is the latest development in the case of Dr Chris Townley; Letting Agent Today reported on his case last year, where he disputed the charges made on him as a landlord by Foxtons.
Townley launched a legal claim with the support of solicitors Leigh Day, claiming the “commission” was not covered by the landlord’s contract. He was seeking £14,000 in compensation for “inflated costs for work” during the two and a half years that Foxtons managed the property.
According to Leigh Day the case has inspired a further 54 landlords to come forward and that their claims range from £4,000 to £200,000 with the total at £2.19m.
Leigh Day has served the estate agent with a letter of claim, warning it will issue High Court proceedings unless it agrees to enter settlement talks.
Foxtons is quoted extensively in the London Evening Standard newspaper denying the validity of the claims, saying: “We believe our fees represent good value and are clearly communicated to landlords and detailed within the terms of each contract. This case reflects a small minority of landlords and we believe is entirely without merit.”
Chris Haan, from the consumer team at Leigh Day, says: “We were not surprised when many other landlords came forwards with similar claims to that of Dr Townley. This is the first group of claims to be put to Foxtons but we believe there will be many more. We consider Foxtons has a potential conflict of interest in that the more expensive the contractor is, the more Foxtons makes in commissions.