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Consumer Guide | Lettings

Using a TPO registered letting agent to rent or let a property
Why should you choose a letting agent who is registered with TPO?
What can tenants and landlords expect from a TPO registered letting agent?

The TPO Code of Practice requires agents to meet all their legal obligations when acting as agents, but it goes above and beyond that by requiring agents to adopt and follow 'best practice'. This includes:

What else can tenants expect from a TPO registered letting agent?
What else can landlords expect from a TPO registered letting agent?
How do you tell if a letting agent is a TPO registered letting agent?

All agents must display the TPO logo on windows, advertising and stationery. If you need help in finding an agent you can contact the Ombudsman's office or look at the TPO website www.tpos.co.uk.

All agents are required to display copies of the TPO Consumer Guide in their office and make copies available, free of charge, on request.

What happens if you have a complaint?

Tell the agent that you have a complaint and ask them to look at it under their internal complaints procedure. The Ombudsman will not consider your complaint unless you have done this first. When the agent has finished considering your complaint he will normally tell you so, and if you are still dissatisfied, you can write to the Ombudsman at the address given at the end of this Guide with brief details of your complaint. Please contact the Ombudsman's office if you are not sure whether he can look at your complaint.

If the agent persistently ignores or fails to address your complaint within a reasonable time, you should refer your complaint to the Ombudsman and we will assist you to progress your complaint.

If the agent has been dealing with your complaint for 8 weeks or more, and it remains unresolved, then you may take it directly to the Ombudsman.

What complaints can the Ombudsman consider?

Both landlords and tenants can ask the Ombudsman to look into a complaint. Your complaint may be considered by the Ombudsman if you believe that the agent has:

What complaints cannot be dealt with by the Ombudsman?

Broadly speaking, the Ombudsman cannot deal with your complaint if:

What will the Ombudsman do?

The Ombudsman can receive complaints from landlords and tenants who are customers of a TPO registered letting agent. When your complaint is received, the Ombudsman's office will send you a complaints form with guidance on how best to present your side of the case. At the same time you will receive full information on how we will reach a fair and reasonable decision.

At each stage of the Ombudsman's consideration you will be advised of the next steps that are available to you.

You can accept or reject the Ombudsman's final decision. If you accept his award of financial compensation, you do so in full and final settlement of your dispute with the agent. If you reject his final decision, it and the award will lapse, and you are free to do as you wish, including taking legal action against the agent. Your legal rights will not have been affected by the Ombudsman's decision.

Any request for an oral hearing will be considered by the Ombudsman (or his appointed deputy) by reference to the nature of the issues to be determined and in particular the extent to which the complaint raises issues of credibility or contested facts that cannot be fairly determined by reference to documentary evidence and written submissions. In deciding whether there should be a hearing and, if so, whether it should be in public or private, the Ombudsman will have regard to the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Ombudsman will give reasons in writing, if he declines to grant a hearing.