C looked to sell a property and entered into a sole agency agreement with H. H arranged over 100 viewings, including four to Y. The property was not sold during the period of the agency and C ended the relationship with H. More than a year later and 16 months after Y’s previous viewing, Y contacted C’s niece, who was occupying the property while C was abroad. Y asked C’s niece about buying the property, but did not mention that he had seen the property while H was marketing it. Y eventually bought the property. H found out and wanted its commission.
The High Court initially and now the Court of Appeal have ruled that H was entitled to the commission. The test was whether the purchaser had become a purchaser as a result of the introduction by the estate agent. Y had viewed the property four times during the period in which H was the agent and Y had purchased the property as a result of H’s introduction. There was a causal link between the introduction and the ultimate purchase.
Paul Gershlick, editor of www.Upload-IT.com and a Partner at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP, comments: ‘Estate agents will be pleased to see that they have finally had a case decided in their favour, after the Foxtons and Estafnous cases went against them in the last year. Looking at all of these three cases together, it is vital that estate agents get their terms and conditions professionally looked at to make sure that they are fully protected from the situations in those cases, and to avoid them losing their commissions.’