THE director of Auction House Cumbria Ltd appeared before Carlisle Magistrates’ Court last week charged with misdescribing a house that was sold at auction.

Colin West, pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before the judge on Thursday.

Auction House Cumbria sells a wide variety of property types covering the residential, land, commercial, investment and agricultural segments.

West sold a two-bedroom property owned by him at auction which was described in a brochure and in online advertisements as having a “pleasant rear garden with an open field behind”.

It was later discovered that most of the garden did not belong to the property, but to an adjoining landowner.

The matter was brought to the attention of Cumbria Trading Standards following the sale of the house at an auction held in Carlisle in June 2017.

During the process of purchasing of the property the buyer’s solicitor had some concerns with regards to the rear garden not showing on the title plans.

Mr West’s solicitors were contacted with a request to clarify the position and to indicate on a title plan the extent of the garden boundary.

Once this was received it clearly indicated that most of the garden was in fact outside the boundaries of the property’s title deeds.

An ordnance surveyor visited the property and plotted what was currently owned by the new owners and the areas that were believed to be the buyers but now showing on their title deeds.

The surveyor confirmed that the garden area was in fact registered to a third party.

The buyers felt they were misled by West with regards to the description of his property and the ownership of the garden.

When they asked about the ownership of the garden his was that he has simply forgotten the fact that the garden area behind is not included in the title.

When contacted by the News & Star, Mr West said: “I am delighted that the judge said there was no intent to deceive.”

Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “This is a very unusual case.

“Traders should ensure that claims on their websites and literature are justifiable and not misleading.

“Purchasing a house is one of the biggest decisions people have to make, and the last thing they need is to be misled.”

West was fined £950, ordered to pay £1,750 costs and £95 victim services.