‘Respected and trusted’ estate agent fined £1,000 for breaching 1979 Act

Des McGranaghan pleaded guilty to two contraventions of the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Des McGranaghan, McGranaghan Estate Agent

A ‘respected and trusted’ Belfast estate agent with ‘an impeccable record’ has been fined £1,000 for breaching the Estate Agent Act 1979 and failing to provide information about a Property Redress Scheme.

Des McGranaghan, pictured in a corporate video for McGranaghan Estate Agents, was fined £600 and £400 for the two breaches.


Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard Northern Ireland Trading Standards Service launched an investigation last year following a complaint by a woman who put her house on the market through McGranaghan Estate Agents.

McGranaghan Estate Agents, Belfast
McGranaghan Estate Agents, Belfast

ITV News reported earlier this week that McGranaghan wanted the full agency fee of 0.75% – despite the sale falling through after the seller could not find somewhere else to live.

McGranaghan then pursued her for £3,397 – the full 0.75% plus costs – which was later referred to a debt collection agency.

He pleaded guilty to two contraventions of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.


Defence counsel Sean O’Hare argued that they were technical breaches by a ‘respected and trusted estate agent with an impeccable record’, telling the Court: “He has been in business for 30 years, with an enviable reputation in the areas in which he operates.”

The Neg reported on Monday how the boss of National Trading Standards’ estate agency team has admitted he doesn’t have the staff to tackle conditional selling, the practice of excluding buyers who do not agree to use services such as conveyancing and mortgage broking provided by an agency’s own or outsourced provider.

James Munro told the Daily Telegraph “there’s a lack of resources to go out and police this effectively”. It would “take a lot of resources and a lot of people to go out and investigate to give a realistic market assessment”, he said.

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