Q. I recently made an offer on a property I viewed a week ago and have been told by the agent the property is now under offer. I have explained that I wish to make an offer over the asking price but the agent refuses to put the offer forward, what can I do?

A. Failure to put offers forward is a serious offence. According to the estate agents act 1979, agents are legally bound to forward all offers promptly and in writing to the seller. Failure to do so is in breach of The Estate Agents (UNDESIRABLE PRACTICES) (No.2) order 1991. Find out if your agent belongs to the OEA (Ombudsman for Estate Agents) if so follow their in house complaints procedure in the first instance, if this is not satisfactory then refer the complaint directly to the OEA who will investigate the matter further, please note however that the OEA has no power to act unless the agent is a member. In that case refer the case to The Director General of Fair Trading who can impose sanctions, they will usually ask for help from the local Trading Standards Department to investigate the breach further which can in due course result in a warning or prohibition order.