Savills Estate Agents To Pay Compensation To Home Owner

One of The UK’s most respected estate agents Savills has been forced to pay a client compensation after the agency sold his house for 2.9 million pounds despite the property being valued at 30 million pounds. Savills has subsequently apologised and been forced to pay an undisclosed financial settlement.

The house owner Mr McKay agreed to sell the luxury property in Sunningdale, Berkshire, for £2.9m on the basis that it did not go to a property developer, who had converted a neighbouring property into 34 flats, costing £1.7m each. He later discovered that the house had indeed been bought by a company, Rork's Ltd, owned by the neighbouring property's developer, John Morris.

Subsequently, a surveyor valued Tresanton as being worth up to £30m for development purposes.

Mr McKay then sued Savills. He originally demanded £3m in damages, but then increased his claim to £6.1m after planning permission was granted. Yesterday, in the High Court, it was revealed that Mr McKay had accepted the apology and a pay-out from Savills.

Mr McKay claimed that the former head of the Sunningdale branch of Savills, Michael Ball, had disguised the involvement of the purchaser. He said he had twice asked Mr Ball – who subsequently quit Savills – whether Mr Morris was behind the £2.9m bid to buy the property, but was told that this was not the case.

Yesterday, in the High Court, it was revealed that Mr McKay had accepted the apology and a pay-out from Savills.

He said: "I recognise that Savills has been the victim of a rogue employee and I know they are a firm of high professional standards which I would be happy to use again."

Jeremy Stuart-Smith, Savills' barrister, said: "Savills greatly regrets the conduct which led to this claim and wishes to make an open and unreserved apology for the breach of duty to which Mr McKay was subjected."

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