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first_imgFierce debate over the government’s advice on property viewings and home moves has erupted once again after agents in the Somerset town of Weston-super-Mare complained to local authorities about a rival who, they claim, has been conducting viewings.Two agents, who wish to remain anonymous, approached The Negotiator to claim that Ashley Leahy, who runs an eponymous estate agency in the town, has been seen attending property viewings with potential buyers on several occasions.Guidance from Propertymark is explicit on the subject, saying: “Under the current public health guidance in-person viewings are not permitted and should be delayed.”But official guidance is also clear – it says that although people who want to put their properties on the market can proceed, as long as no one visits their home including agents or buyers,  and if they receive offers move to exchange of contract.The grey area is empty or vacant properties – which the official guidance suggests can be visited for viewings and surveys, but it’s not clear whether this is for homes already on the market prior to the lockdown, or new listings.The Negotiator asked Ashley to comment about the claims. He said: “There have been a few viewings that we have done on vacant properties.“We have gone to the property in question, opened the door and then let the people go around on their own. This was permitted because I felt that there was absolutely no risk to them or us.  I am absolutely certain that other agents in the town have also done this.”Trading standardsLeahy was reported to North Somerset Borough Council trading standards who earlier this week contacted him to discuss the claims.“I can confirm that following a complaint we contacted the proprietor of Ashley Leahy Estate Agents and advised him that he shouldn’t be trading,” a spokesperson told The Negotiator.“We reminded him of the business closure regulations and sent him the current government guidance specific to estate agents.“He advised us that his business is closed and that he wouldn’t conduct house viewings or on-site valuations until the restrictions are lifted.”Ashley Leahy Estate Agents operates from a residential address in the town and offers fixed-fee sales starting at £995.Read more about vacant properties viewings.Weston-on-Supermare Ashley Leahy North Somerset May 1, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentMatteo Donna, Alex & Matteo Estate Agents Alex & Matteo Estate Agents 1st May 2020 at 9:07 amI am not justifying Mr Leahy however It is so sad that in a moment like this there are estate agents that instead to get closer and support each other, bad mouth others competitors.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 » COVID-19 news » Arguments erupt in Somerset over vacant property viewings by estate agent previous nextAgencies & PeopleArguments erupt in Somerset over vacant property viewings by estate agentSeveral agents in Weston-super-Mare have claimed that a rival is conducting viewings in contravention of Ministry of Housing and Propertymark guidance.Nigel Lewis1st May 20201 Comment15,298 Viewslast_img read more