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Thousands of landlords “at risk” because of Purplebricks - claim

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Purplebricks could face a bill of as much as £30m “after it put thousands of landlords at risk of being fined.” 

The newspaper says: “It is understood that since the online estate agent was founded in 2012, it has failed to properly serve legally required documents to tenants explaining their deposits have been put into a national protection scheme.

“These documents, known as prescribed information, must be given to tenants within 30 days of the deposit being paid. Failure to do this means the tenant can claim back up to three times the value of the money.


“Tenants have a six-year limitation period in which to make a claim against either the agent or their landlord. A source with knowledge of the business said Purplebricks' historic liabilities could be as high as £30m, assuming everyone eligible to make a claim did so."

The Telegraph goes on to quote Alisha Butler of Phoenix Solicitors, a legal firm in Wirral which is representing clients with claims against Purplebricks, as saying: “The court does not have discretion as to whether they can or cannot award compensation; they must award it if the landlord or agent has breached their obligations."


Meanwhile Purplebricks has told Landlord Today: “We have recently become aware of a process issue in how we have been communicating deposit registrations with our tenants.

“This is an administrative issue and tenants’ deposits have been secure at all times. We are currently investigating the matter fully.

“We are not going to comment on the potential liability. We expect the actual financial impact to be significantly lower.”

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    It’s well time to scrap the Deposits Schemes & Prescribed Information bringing the whole business into disrepute. It’s total injustice why should any landlord have to give back the worthless Deposit to a Tenant not alone 3 times more as well. The Deposit is no longer protecting the property which is what it should be for but instead you are just minding money for the Tenant and potentially getting saddled with a huge liability of 3 times more for what ? If they misappropriate the rent they are not required to pay 3 times more.

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    I suspect as with all things to do with PRS it will be the landlord fall guy, if an Agent rents out your non-compliant property it’s the owner is always ultimately held to Account that’s well documented. Those people have terms & conditions and are not go to stand in front of you but we’ll behind, do you think they are going to take responsibility for your property

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    Never used purple bricks and never would use an out fit like them


    Totally agree.

    I would always prefer to use a local owner managed business for everything if at all possible.

    Big organisations, public or private sector, are full of pen pushers in fancy suits.

    Give me someone who gets their own hands dirty, is experienced and responsible personally for what they do every time - preferably trading under their own name.

    Purple bricks has always sounded to me like a spoof company. Looks like I might have been right!

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    Purple bricks don't know what they're doing? What a surprise!

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    Probably ok for selling a very low set fee and support for photo’s or video at extra cost but don’t need to pay up front or to 10 months, advertised on Zoopla, Rightmove etc, if not in too much of a hurry to sell could take a punt for £1k + it could test the market.


    90% of an agents work is done after the a sale has been achieved. You won't get that with purple bricks. A good agent could also get you thousands more for your property.


    ‘pay peanuts 🥜, get monkeys 🐒’ to do any tasks comes to mind.
    You get what you pay for-simple.
    The attraction of Low fees/peanuts payments by Purplebricks/and other online agency monkeys claiming great savings will mostly result in disaster for landlords/home owners.
    Best wishes to all good landlords.

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    Robert, I like it we are all hands on landlords and always was.
    That excludes all the non productive computer gurus so called Professionals that they want us to be.

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    There’s a House in our Road up for a £1m. I am told Agent sales fee is 1.5% very high I think (£15’000) you know what I mean, good night I said too today.

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    When a deposit is protected I was under the impression the deposit company emails the tenant to tell them it has been protected. There is a way of tenants checking with the deposit companies to see if their deposit is still protected throughout their tenancy. When the landlord notifies the deposit company the tenancy is going into a Statutory Periodic the deposit company emails both landlord and tenant to tell them. In this era of paperless admin and lowering our carbon footprint is driving all over the place with bits of paper to sign, which are only duplicating all those emails really a good idea? I do it but it does seem incredibly environmentally unsound.

  • Matthew Payne

    They will have to put a provision in their accounts for the £30m come what may, and all this continued and future publicity makes it more and more likely they are going to need to use it all. Writing to all their tenants wasn't the smartest move either.


    Yep 👍.
    An audited company should already have contingency reserves. I haven’t used Purple Bricks hence not checked their balance sheet, however their auditors would have definitely advised them to keep reserves, which the CEO & directors likely decided to ignore & put their customers (including PRS Landlords) money at risk instead.

    Best wishes for a continued success of good, honest PRS landlords, and local agents.

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    I was not singing their phrases just a source to test the market for £1k small beer regarding property and if it went fair enough so from my previous example you would need to get an extra £14k + vat from High St Agent to end up same level, may limit potential purchasers ability to find the extra cash.
    I think I have seen the shares at £5 then sold off for a £1 then a low of 26p now recovered some what, if they go into liquidation just add 430 more jobs to the list.

    Matthew Payne

    Dropped another 20% today.

  • John  Adams

    I have never found pb to be particularly competent and you pay for what you get. However I find these claims where no loss has actually occurred quite ridiculous, sure fine them heavily for breach of the law, but surely the whole point of law in general is to rectify and compensate for actual loss, not what could have been. If that's how we are going to interpret laws going forward, then let's start suing for Pot Holes we might drive over even if we've never been there..

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    You pay peanuts.... as the saying goes.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Will PB last till Christmas at this rate? Like the Tories and Johnson at present, it just seems to be lurching from one crisis to another, with each new one seemingly bigger than the last.

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    I a know a landlord who is taking a letting agent to court because they sourced ordered and paid an ELECSA contractor who they have used fo 5 years, who provided a false NICEIC certificate which failed the property. Their defence is essentially that it was done on the landlords behalf.
    This and other contractors (including gas) providing fake or false certificates would make a good story for an investigative journal or journalist.

  • George Dawes

    Purple bricks seems like an anagram .. burple pr…. ?

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    It’s a Statute problem bad Laws needs changing, like rent re-payment orders also , use your property and all its facilities for a year then claim their money back some nonsense going on.
    I see a guy in the Café other day he had a big Chicken dinner and devoured it, then went up to complain and got his money back, the owner trying to keep the peace


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