AN ESTATE agent has been fined more than £3,000 for making misleading statements on its website.
Stephen Parry and Company Ltd pleaded guilty to two offences at Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court following a prosecution by Warwickshire Trading Standards.
The website had falsely stated in 2015 that Stephen Parry and Company Limited were members of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers (NAVA).
And although one of the company’s directors, Stephen Parry, had previously been a fellow of both Associations, his membership lapsed in 2013.
Members of these bodies are governed by professional standard codes of practice and such a statement could have influenced consumers in their choice of estate agency.
The business was asked repeatedly to amend its website but after failing to adhere to the requests, they were taken to court where they were fined £1,000 in total for both offences and ordered to pay £1,911 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.
County council safety spokesman, John Horner, said it was important for businesses and websites to be accurate so customers could have complete confidence in the information being provided.
And Philip Johnson, Chair of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “Warwickshire Trading Standards work with businesses to help ensure their websites are accurate.
“However, when businesses continue to make misleading statements, more serious enforcement action is sometimes required.”
The website has now been updated.