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Press releases 2002 -

Two estate agents banned by the OFT

PN 26/02    14 May 2002

Estate agents Peter Martin Sellers and Mark James Kelland have been banned from estate agency work.

Mr Sellers, previously based in Hove, East Sussex, and Mr Kelland, who in the past was a partner in Knights Estate Agents of Kettering, Northants, both received Prohibition Orders from the Office of Fair Trading.

Westminster Trading Standards Department notified the OFT that Mr Sellers had been convicted at Isleworth Crown Court of an offence of obtaining services by deception contrary to section 1(1) of the Theft Act 1978. He was sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment.

Northamptonshire Trading Standards Department notified the OFT that Mr Kelland had been convicted at Northampton Crown Court of an offence of conspiracy to defraud. He was sentenced to 150 hours of Community Service and ordered to pay £1,500 towards the cost of the prosecution.

In separate proceedings, OFT adjudicators determined that Mr Sellers and Mr Kelland were unfit to carry on estate agency work. Prohibition Orders were made against Mr Sellers and Mr Kelland on 12 February and 11 April 2002 respectively.

NOTES

1. The Estate Agents Act 1979 covers anyone who, in the course of business, is engaged in ‘estate agency work’. This means introducing to someone else a person who wishes to buy, sell or lease land or property, and being involved in negotiating the subsequent deal. The work must be in the course of business, whether as employer or employee, and as a result of instructions from a client. The land or property may be commercial, industrial, agricultural or residential. This does not include acting as a letting agent.

2.  The Director General can bar from estate agency work a person who has been convicted of offences involving fraud, or other dishonesty or violence or certain specified offences; or who has committed racial or sexual discrimination in the course of estate agency work; or who has failed to comply with the requirements placed on estate agents by the Act.

3. Before a Prohibition Order is issued, the person concerned has the right to make representations to the Director General as to why the Order should not be made. Once a Prohibition Order has been made, within a limited period an appeal can be made to the Secretary of State for Trade.

4. After an Order has been made, the person affected can at any time, and on payment of a fee, currently £2,500, apply to the Director General for the Order to be varied or revoked. Orders based solely on convictions come to an end on the date that the conviction is regarded as ‘spent’ under the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, unless circumstances have changed and further action taken. Accordingly – in the absence of such change and action, the prohibition orders made against Mr Sellers and Mr Kelland will cease to have effect upon the expiry of the rehabilitation period for their convictions. In Mr Sellers’ case the Prohibition Order will cease to have effect when the rehabilitation period for the conviction ends in May 2007. In Mr Kelland’s case the prohibition Order will cease to have effect when the rehabilitation period for the conviction ends in November 2004.

5. A public register of Prohibition Orders is kept by the Office of Fair Trading at CCLB 3rd Floor, Craven House, 40 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, London, W5 2BS.




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