Office of Fair Trading Investigations
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is the regulatory body charged with monitoring participants in the management rights industry. Their ambit also extends to general real estate agents.
They are entitled to spot check licensees and can do that at any time.
They look for compliance with certain statutory requirements but then can delve into any number of your business practices – particularly with respect to your trust account.
Of course, if every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ crossed, then all will be well.
If, for whatever reason, there are issues with compliance from your end the OFT can deal with that by several different means, the most drastic of which is taking enforcement action to impose stiff fines, suspend your licence or disqualify you from holding a licence. All of these actions can severely damage the value of your management rights business.
We have acted for many clients who have had issues with the OFT. As with all matters of this nature, strategy is all-important. Litigating (or defending a claim) simply for the sake of it is not necessarily the best way to resolve an issue.
There may also be issues with your financier and the body corporate arising from the commencement of any proceeding.
Leaving aside the actual dollars costs, there are significant time and emotional energies that are spent in a matter of this nature.
You want to understand all of those costs before you set any strategy. Some clients are made for litigation – others are not.
Getting the best outcome for you is of the most importance.