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Monday, November 30 -1

The new industry watchdog, the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, has revealed that it has a “major investigation” on its hands.

It has also banned a number of estate agents during its first nine months of operation.

NTSEAT, based at Powys County Council, took over from the Office of Fair Trading last April 1.

Yesterday it told Eye that it inherited eight “in flight” prohibition cases from the OFT.

Three bans took effect and five were appealed. Of these, two were resisted and three reduced to warning orders.

NTSEAT itself went on to prohibit a further five estate agents last year. Of these, three are currently appealed.

The Team told Eye yesterday: “We have a number of pending prohibition cases and also a number of other cases on the go, including a major investigation which was referred by the Competition and Markets Authority.”

NTSEA says it has redesigned its website and will shortly be including estate agency guidance on it.

It is in the process of consulting on a redraft to the OFT guidance on property sales.

A link to the consultation is on the front page of the Powys County Council website. The consultation asks no specific questions but simply asks for comments on the existing OFT guidance. The consultation closes on January 31.