May 7

Estate agents face mandatory referral fee transparency rules following shock report

first_imgEstate agents should be forced to tell customers about third party referral fees or face expulsion from the industry, a Trading Standards report into the issue has recommended to Ministers.The shocking recommendations follow a long investigation into referral fees by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT), prior to which it had warned agents that they were in the ‘last chance saloon’. Its report has been with MHCLG, who commissioned the report, since February.This recommends making referral fees transparency mandatory rather than advisory.“It is unacceptable that unscrupulous practices are still taking place where consumers are not being made aware of referral fees when buying or selling a property,” says housing minister Christopher Pincher (left).The report also recommends that agents who flout existing rules contained within the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 should face being banned from the industry.“At this stage we will be working with industry and professional bodies to develop guidance for agents to comply with the need to disclose referral fees,” a NTSELAT spokesperson told The Negotitaor.“At the current time this will be based on the provisions of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 which make it an offence for a trader to omit material information.“Referral fees are considered to be material information when marketing property as the absence of such information is likely to affect a consumer’s transactional decision.”It it now up to MHCLG to decide whether to bring in additional legislation.Regularly concealedNTSELAT found that referring customers to a preferred service provider in exchange for a fee is ‘regularly concealed’  and that many customers are unaware of this arrangement when buying or selling a home.“In some situations, customers may be pressurised to use a referred provider despite the fact it does not meet the needs of the customer or provide best value,” the reports says.The key recommendations are:Make transparency of referral fees mandatory.Require a warning to be given to customers that they should consider shopping around.A public awareness campaign to warn consumers about hidden referral fees.Further industry guidance, and work with the professional bodies and redress schemes to encourage compliance in the property sector.“We recognise that referral fees have a place in business if used ethically and transparently and with no pressure to use the referred service,” says James Munro, Senior Manager at NTSELAT (left).“It is important that customers are fully aware of the basis and value of a referral or recommendation so they are able to take an informed transactional decision.”Sean Hooker (left), Head of Redress at the Property Redress Scheme, says: “I was on the working group with the MHCLG and NTSELAT along with TPO, Propertymark, RICS and the Guild that helped draw up guidance for agents as part of a voluntary trial of disclosure and transparency.“Whilst the guidance was followed by many businesses, the NTSELAT report shows that more is needed to be done and whilst they have fallen short of recommending a full ban, the introduction of mandatory disclosure is required. This is the correct and proportionate response to protect the consumer and reduce the complaints against agents.”Mark Hayward (left), Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark: “New legislation which will require agents to display referral fees is a step forward, providing clarity to agents that they mustn’t fall foul of the law but importantly ensuring greater transparency for consumers to avoid any confusion about what agents are charging for.“This is something we’ve been working closely with government and the NTSELAT on, and given that agents were facing a complete ban of referral fees, we would strongly advise that anyone who isn’t currently displaying their fees should start now, regardless of when the new laws will come into force. ”Read the full report.christopher pincher NTSEAT James Munro referral fees National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team (NTSELA). referral fees guidance October 2, 2020Nigel Lewis2 commentsDavid Jabbari | Solicitor | Founder and CEO of Muve | [email protected] |, Muve Muve 3rd October 2020 at 9:08 amLike the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) initiative, referral fees is an area where agents should look to their law firms for free advice and assistance on all aspects of compliance. A good conveyancing law firm is not there just to be sent referrals: they also have an obligation to assist in the drafting of all the required compliance material.Log in to ReplyAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 2nd October 2020 at 7:59 amOur friends in Powys, the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team have in fairness always been very efficient when I have had dealings with them, but they are a tiny team, a bit like a lone marshall looking after the wild west in the 1830’s. And on the flip side, my view is that agents are transparent regarding these matters, and the public is a lot savvier than many give them credit for.Over 30-years plus of agency I never saw an example of agents taking advantage of clients, I am sure there were cases of omissions regarding financial arrangements regarding services provided, but as an oversight rather than a master plan to fleece the gullible public. Commerce is complicated, if you transact property this involves services, these have a cost, whoever is used a revenue and a profit is generated.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Estate agents face mandatory referral fee transparency rules following shock report previous nextRegulation & LawEstate agents face mandatory referral fee transparency rules following shock reportTrading Standards has concluded its investigation into referral fees and recommended agents are forced to comply or face expulsion.Nigel Lewis2nd October 20202 Comments3,595 Viewslast_img read more

May 3

Dunn Hospitality Tournament To Be Held Today and Saturday

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare UE welcomes Austin Peay, Dayton and Kent State EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The sixth version of the Dunn Hospitality Tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday as the University of Evansville volleyball team welcomes Austin Peay, Dayton and Kent State to the Carson Center for a total of six matches.Action begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. when Dayton and Kent State face off.  Evansville takes on Austin Peay at 7 p.m.  The Golden Flashes and the Governors tangle on Saturday at 10 a.m. before the Aces face the Flyers at 12:30 p.m.  The final two matches feature Austin Peay/Dayton at 4 p.m. and Evansville/Kent State at 6:30 p.m.Both of the Aces’ matches on Saturday will be carried live on The Valley on ESPN3.Evansville picked up its first victory of the season on Monday evening against Southeast Missouri State.  After dropping the first set, the Aces grabbed a 2-1 lead.  The Redhawks tied the match up with a 4th-set victory before the Aces were able to take control in the fifth, clinching the match with a 15-9 triumph.This weekend marks the sixth Dunn Hospitality Tournament.  The first one took place in 2010 and has been played each year since except for 2012.  The Aces are 11-4 in the event and went a perfect 3-0 in the 2010 tournament.  Interestingly enough, the first-ever match in the history of the tournament took place against Western Carolina which, at the time, was led by current UE head coach Manolo Concepcion.Sophomore Mildrelis Rodriguez matched her career-high with 18 kills on Monday.  She also notched 15 digs to lead the way for the Purple Aces.  For the season, she leads the way with 2.80 kills per set and is knocking on the door of the top ten in the MVC.  On the defensive side, Rodriguez led the team with 15 digs against SEMO and ranks second for UE with 2.40 digs per set.The amazing start to the season continued for junior Erlicia Griffith as she notched two solo blocks and nine block assists in the win over SEMO.  She pushed her average for the season to 1.65 per set, which is tops in the MVC and began the week in the top ten in the country.  That effort came off of a weekend that saw her finish with 8 block assists versus Green Bay.Austin Peay will be the first opponent of the weekend for the Purple Aces.  The Governors come to Evansville with a 3-4 mark after dropping two out of three matches at the Trojan Invitational in Troy, Ala.  They earned a win over Southern before falling to Valparaiso and New Mexico State.  Offensively, they are a balanced squad with four players averaging 2.27 kills or more, led by Ashley Slay’s 2.81 per set.Dayton comes to the Dunn Hospitality Tournament with a perfect 7-0 record.  They earned wins over Xavier, Northwestern and Chattanooga in their home tournament last weekend.  Jessica Sloan is their top offensive weapon, notching an average of 3.77 kills per frame.Rounding out the weekend will be Kent State.  The Golden Flashes begin the weekend with a 4-3 record, splitting their home tournament last weekend.  They earned wins over Robert Morris and Wright State and fell to Boise State and Tennessee.  Kelsey Bittinger leads KSU with 3.91 kills per set.last_img read more

May 2


first_imgFeds drop charges against MenendezThe U.S. Justice Department has dropped its corruption case against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.This decision came after a mistrial was declared in the proceedings against the New Jersey Democrat and co-defendant Salomon Melgen in November when the jury could not come to a verdict.The Justice Department refiled the charges earlier this month, but U.S. District Judge William Walls, who heard the original case, dismissed seven of the most serious charges against Menendez and Melgen. Walls said the trial had shown no evidence of wrongdoing in regards to Menendez accepting campaign contributions from Melgen.This left the lesser charges of Menendez accepting gifts and trips from Melgen. Menendez’s defense team was expected to request that the other charges also be dropped.But it appears the Justice Department decided the case was not worth pursuing and dropped the remaining charges against both men.“From the very beginning, I never wavered in my innocence and my belief that justice would prevail,” Menendez said in response to the decision. “I am grateful that the Department of Justice has taken the time to reevaluate its case and come to the appropriate conclusion. I thank God for hearing my prayers and for giving me strength during this difficult time. I have devoted my life to serving the people of New Jersey, and am forever thankful for all who have stood by me. No matter the challenges ahead, I will never stop fighting for New Jersey and the values we share.”The case could have had serious political implications. Republicans hold a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate and Menendez faces reelection this fall.The two men were charged in a case that claimed Melgen had given Menendez significant campaign contributions as well as gifts and trips in exchange for helping in solving problems Melgen was having with several agencies of the federal government. Menendez has argued that he simply helped out a constituent.A number of local officials had urged the federal government to drop the case, from Rep. Albio Sires to Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteersLearn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at the Hudson County Courthouse, 595 Newark Ave. Rm. 901 on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m.Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.For further information, visit Men sentenced in connection with largest fentanyl seizure in state historyTwo men have been sentenced to state prison in Connecticut in connection with a record-setting fentanyl seizure in North Bergen last year, according to the NJ Attorney General’s Office.On Jan. 26, a judge sentenced Jesus Carrillo-Pineda, 31, to 10 years in state prison. He was charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and will serve a concurrent seven year sentence on a charge of possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute.Pineda was also charged in connection with the seizure of five fentanyl kilos, almost 40 kilos of heroin, and a smaller quantity of methamphetamine in Willingboro, which happened a day after the North Bergen seizure.Daniel Vasquez, 28, received a six year prison sentence Jan. 24, a press release said. He was charged with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, a press release said. Both men pleaded guilty to their charges on Dec. 18.Officials seized 40 of the fentanyl kilos from the record bust in North Bergen, with the remaining five kilos seized in Willingboro.Fentanyl is known as one of the most dangerous opioids. It is 50 times more potent than heroin. According to the press release, fentanyl caused 417 fatal overdoses in the state in 2015. That number exceeded 800 in 2016.“Many lives were undoubtedly saved as a result of this record-setting fentanyl seizure by the New Jersey State Police,” said A.G Gurbir Grewal in the release.“The 100 pounds of fentanyl trafficked into our state by these drug dealers could have generated enough lethal doses to kill the entire populations of New Jersey and New York City combined. Because dealers use this super-potent opioid to boost heroin and create counterfeit oxy pills, drug users are left to play a deadly game of Russian roulette each time they give way to their addiction.” Basketball clinic season ends with awardsMayor Nicholas Sacco and Commissioners Hugo Cabrera and Julio Marenco handed out awards on Saturday, Jan. 27 to mark the end of the annual Basketball clinic season.Coordinated by Nick Sacco Jr., the clinic is designed to teach kids the fundamentals of the game.About 120 kids ages 5 to 7 participated in the clinic on Saturday mornings. Everyone who participated received an award at the weekend event, along with a hot dog and drink.Become a substitute teacherInterested in a career in education? Or just looking for a rewarding part time job? Get started now as a substitute teacher. Many substitute teachers go on to be hired as full time teachers. To apply, come to the Board of Education building at 7317 Kennedy Blvd. to fill out an application. Pay is $85 per day. Schedules are flexible. You must have 60 college credits and pass a background check and drug test.NBPD partners with Hudson County Prosecutor on new fatal collision unitThe Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office recently established a new Regional Fatal Collision Unit, in partnership with various local agencies, including the North Bergen Police Department.The new unit will include crime scene personnel from the prosecutor’s office equipped with the latest available collision technology software, along with a specially-equipped vehicle, an aerial drone, and newly acquired laser scanning and measuring equipment.A dedicated group of assistant prosecutors will be working with the unit and will be on call at all times.In 2017 there were 26 deaths caused by vehicle collisions in Hudson County. Of those, 18 (70 percent) were pedestrians or pedal cyclists. Due to the high rate of fatal collisions in the region, Suarez, along with police chiefs throughout the county, determined that citizens required highly trained detectives with the most up-to-date equipment at their disposal.Just one day after the Jan. 25 press conference announcing the implementation of the new unit, it was involved in the investigation and arrest of a suspected driver in a fatal hit-and-run in Jersey City.Meet your local police, tell them your concernsThe North Bergen Police Department regularly hosts community meetings to get to know local residents. The month of February they will host four meetings at different locations throughout the township, where residents can meet the officers who patrol their neighborhoods, and share any concerns.The meetings are part of a program known as N.B. TAPS (North Bergen Township Alternative Policing Strategy), designed to enhance police-community relations in the township.Residents get to meet and discuss issues face-to-face with the officers who serve their immediate community, and the officers get to learn about any matters of concern directly from the residents.All meetings will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. The dates and locations are as follows:Tuesday, Feb. 6: Our Lady of Fatima Church, Lower Level, 8011 Kennedy Blvd.Monday, Feb. 12: Downtown Public Library, 2123 Kennedy Blvd.Wednesday, Feb. 21: Uptown Public Library, 8411 Bergenline Ave.Tuesday, Feb. 27: North Bergen Town Hall Chambers, Lower Level, 4233 Kennedy Blvd.last_img read more

April 21

Tate & Lyle partnership for reduced-salt ingredient

first_imgTate & Lyle has signed a global deal with UK university-owned subsidiary Eminate Ltd for its innovative salt reduction technology.SODA-LO is a clean-label product that aims to reduce salt levels in foods such as bread, pizza, pastry and baked snacks by up to 30%, without compromising on flavour. It is already being used by UK and US food manufacturers, including a major UK retailer the brand did not wish to disclose information on.Karl Kramer, president of innovation and commercial development at Tate & Lyle, said: “The SODA-LO salt reduction technology is an excellent addition to Tate & Lyle’s Health & Wellness offering. Salt reduction is a high-profile priority for many of our customers who are committed to formulating reduced salt products to meet growing consumer demand.”The brand’s exclusive worldwide licence agreement with Eminate, wholly owned by The University of Nottingham, will see the SODA-LO product commercialised globally through manufacturing, product development, sales and marketing.The product is due to roll out globally in early 2012, with current sales quite modest as told to British Baker by a Tate & Lyle spokesperson.Neil Davidson, chairman of Eminate, said: “Tate & Lyle’s relationships with global food companies and its technical and applications development expertise and resources, will help both parties to maximise commercial value from this exciting technology.”• Tate & Lyle yesterday unveiled a 19% increase in adjusted operating profit to £194m – beating analyst’s expectations.The company benefited from a bigger-than-expected £19m gain from byproducts, much of which is sold as animal feed. However it also saw a speciality food ingredients sales up 12% in constant currency terms year on year in the first half. Javed Ahmed, chief executive, explained that some 10-15% of its sales in the speciality food ingredients division now came from emerging markets.Sales in the six months were up 19% on a constant currency basis to £1.54bn.last_img read more

April 20

White’s wins contracts with major retailers

first_imgFamily-run White’s Bakery has won contracts with John Lewis and Asda, as part of its plans to build on four years of successive growth. The fourth-generation business has reported a steep increase in orders and a turnover of £2.6m.The bakery has a contract to design and bake Victorian gingerbread figures for John Lewis to celebrate its 150th anniversary.Another order with Asda stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland will see the bakery send over 200,000 Madeira cakes to the supermarkets in the run-up to Christmas.Barnsley-based White’s Bakery manufactures a wide range of cakes, cookies and bread products for wholesale and retail customers.The business is now entering its 80th anniversary year, and has launched a new marketing drive and growth strategy. The growth strategy is supported by Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded programme, delivered by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.David White, managing director, said: “We are always handling fresh enquiries and repeat orders and have an excellent relationship with our existing customers whether they are the local corner shop or a national food production company.“We’ve had four straight years of growth, following the quieter years of recession, and what we’d like to do now is expand our customer base further. We have the capacity to expand, so we are stepping up our marketing drive.”Sales of the bakery’s premium Fairtrade cookies have quadrupled in the past two years. Most of the cookies are delivered to London’s universities, colleges and coffee shops.White said: “Our schools are very important customers to us. Their goods have to be baked and delivered daily and they have to meet all government-required low-fat, low-sugar and low salt content levels. We are committed to our schools and have doubled the number we supply across the region in the past two years.”The company is also looking at developing specific goods that are needed for its customers, and is currently developing a mini Eccles cake for a catering company, which supplies airlines like Emirates.The family bakery business was established in 1934 by David’s grandparents Albert and Elsie White.Shaun Higginbottom, business development manager at Enterprising Barnsley, said: “This is an exciting time for White’s Bakery as it puts fresh impetus into its drive to seek new customers and explore new markets.“White’s is a perfect example of a family firm which understands the value of its heritage but looks to the future too. We look forward to seeing the business expand and in the next few years, building on its first 80 years.”Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union and has £2,259,511 of investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.last_img read more

April 20

Sussex-based pizzeria makes festival final

first_imgSussex-based The Hearth has been picked from almost 2,000 pizzerias to take part in the London Pizza Festival.It will take part in a competition with four others to be named best pizzeria at the festival on 5 June. The event is being held in London’s Borough Market to celebrate the publication of Daniel Young’s Where To Eat Pizza: The Experts’ Guide To The Best Pizza Places In The World.The Hearth creates Neapolitan-style pizzas and loaves in wood-fired ovens at its Lewes, East Sussex, site, as well as serving customers coffee and cake at a downstairs café.Michael Hanson, owner of The Hearth, said: “It was amazing to be included in the guide, and it’s absolutely fantastic to not only be part of the festival, but have a chance to be voted top pizzeria. It’s a real feather in the cap for the whole team, but especially my head baker Tamas Kerekgyarto, who produces our tasty, and unique, sourdough pizza bases using our own locally grown heritage flour.“We’re taking our mobile wood-fired oven up, and we’ve got to make two pizzas, a vegetarian and meat option. We’re using a Sussex Blue from High Weald Dairy on the vegetarian option, and Sussex lamb from Stephen and Fizz Carr’s Sussex Ox Farm, on the meat one. And, fingers crossed, we’ll come up trumps.”last_img read more

March 2

Pretty Lights Announces Episodic Festivals In New Hampshire And Texas

first_imgForegoing a more traditional touring schedule in lieu of “Episodic Festivals” across the country for the second year, Pretty Lights has been on a tear. Thus far, the DJ and producer and his latest project, Pretty Lights Live, have announced a number of these festivals across the U.S.—with upcoming dates at The Gorge in Washington and Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago—in addition to their return Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado and their inaugural destination event in Puerto Rico dubbed Island of Light. Today, more good news arrived for fans with the announcement of Episodic Festivals 9 and 10, which will take place in New Hampshire and Texas, respectively.EXCLUSIVE: Pretty Lights Details The Vision Behind NOLA Pop-Up Parade, Shares Insight On New AlbumEpisode 9 will take place at Bank of NH Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire on September 15th and 16th. In addition to the headlining Pretty Lights Live performances, Episodic Festival 9 will also feature performances by Ganja White Night, Opiuo, Twiddle, Exmag, Jade Cicada, and Maddy O’Neal. For the second announcement, Pretty Lights’ 10th Episodic Festival will go down in New Braunsfel, Texas, on September 29th and 30th and will similarly feature Ganja White Night, Opiuo, Jade Cicada, and Maddy O’Neal. Manic Focus and Resonant Frequency have also been tapped for the Texas dates in lieu of Twiddle and Exmag.Pretty Lights Announces Lineup And Location For Island Of Light This WinterFor Episodic Festivals 9 and 10, two-day general admission tickets will be available in addition to VIP experiences and lodging options. Tickets for the both these two-day festivals go fan pre-sale on Wednesday, July 12th at 12 pm (EST) / 11 am (CT). You can access the pre-sale by joining Pretty Lights’ newsletter here. The general on-sale for these newly announced dates begins on Friday, July 14th, at 10 am (local).[Photo: Phierce Photo]last_img read more

March 1

Experts share global health stories

first_img Read Full Story A dozen experts discussed health care challenges ranging from delivering humanitarian aid to making surgery safer at a wide-ranging Global Health Summit that drew about 500 to Harvard Medical School’s Joseph B. Martin Conference Center on Monday, November 25, 2013. The summit—a joint effort of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and Harvard Medical School (HMS)—was aimed at highlighting the three institutions’ collaborations and achievements in the field of global health.The first of three panels at the summit featured HSPH’s Michael VanRooyen and Ashish Jha as well as Andrew Ellner, director of HMS’ Program in Global Primary Care and Social Change, discussing what can be learned from global health experiences. VanRooyen, director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, said that humanitarian aid is crucial—whether people are reeling from a natural disaster, from war, or from disease—but that it can be imperfect because aid organizations often don’t coordinate effectively with each other. Given the challenges, it’s important to have a strategic approach when offering humanitarian aid and to move toward “creating humanitarian assistance as its own professional pathway,” he said.last_img read more

February 8

19 burned bodies found near Mexico-US border town

first_imgCIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — Mexican authorities say they’ve found 19 shot and burned bodies near a town across the Rio Grande from Texas. It’s an area that has seen violent territorial disputes between organized crime groups in recent years. The Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office said late Saturday that the bodies were discovered along a dirt road outside Camargo after residents reported a burning vehicle. Authorities found two vehicles on fire, one containing four bodies and the other 15. All had been shot, but shells were not found in the place, leading investigators to believe they were killed somewhere else.last_img read more

January 18

Man Charged After Failing To Spell Fake Name To County Sheriff Deputies

first_imgWNY News Now Stock Image.SILVER CREEK — An Erie County man has been charged by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office after he allegedly gave deputies a false name which he could not spell.Deputies said Sean Schwarz, 27, was sitting in a vehicle in front of the Tops Market on Jackson Street. Deputies investigated what they deemed a suspicious situation at 2:30 a.m., Thursday.Schwarz allegedly gave officers a false name and date of birth, but was unable to spell the name he gave.Deputies observed several pills in plain view. Schwarz was also found to be in possession of a quantity of crack cocaine and Xanax, deputies said. Schwarz was also found to have no drivers license and multiple suspensions.He is charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and one count of false personation.Schwarz was issued appearance tickets and traffic tickets and was released to appear in the Village of Silver Creek court at a late date. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more