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Estate agents breaking law

One in four adverts in windows and online misses out vital information on agencies’ fees

ESTATE agents have been attacked by a consumer group for missing out vital information from property sale and rental notices – with nearly one in four breaking the law.

Checks of around 36,000 adverts in shop windows and more than 4,000 online showed that 23% of agents hid details of their charges from prospective buyers and tenants. As charges are negotiable this could make a significant difference in the purchase price or rent.

Consumer law since 1990 has demanded that details of such costs should be on adverts and in shop windows – and simply putting FAI (frais d’agence inclus / agency fees included) is not enough.

Volunteers from Consommation, Logement et Cadre de Vie (CLCV) also checked whether the 900 agencies included the mandatory mention of the DPE energy consumption – which has been demanded by law on all property adverts (whether agency or not) since 2011.

They found that 85% of shop-window adverts included the DPE rating, but just 43% of internet announcements. However, the DPE results are a vast improvement on the CLCV’s first study, in 2011, which found just 43% of agencies included the details in their windows and just 20% of internet adverts included them.

The DPE ratings give an indication of how much the property will cost to run and the CLCV has called for tougher action. It said agencies should face the set fine of €38 for every ad that is missing the DPE figures.

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