Complaining to the agent
Why do I have to complain to the agent first?
It is reasonable for you to explain your complaint to the Agent before we get involved. This gives you and the business with the opportunity to resolve matters quickly to the benefit of both parties.
We may be able to offer guidance and advice at this stage to promote a local resolution however, in-line with our Terms of Reference we cannot formally help with a complaint until:
- You have complained to the Agent and received their final response (their ‘final viewpoint’ letter) or more than eight weeks has passed since you made your first complaint
- You have complained within 12 months of the event you want to complain about, or the date you became aware of it.
- You have referred your complaint to TPO within 12 months of receiving the Agent’s final response.
If you need help writing to the Agent, a complaint letter template is available for you to download and use.
Can someone help me complain to the agent?
Yes, you can ask a friend or family member to help, or a third party such as a legal representative or someone from Citizen’s Advice. Your agent will also be able to deal with the person you choose instead of you throughout the process if you prefer.
How should the agent deal with my complaint?
Agents must have an in-house complaints process. They have to make it available in writing and it must explain how you can complain to them and, if you are then not satisfied, how to refer the matter to us.
- give you a copy of their complaints process if you ask for it (it may be on their website)
- follow the timescales set out in our codes of practice
- send you a final viewpoint letter if they cannot resolve the issues through their complaints process
Why do I have to give the agent eight weeks to respond to my complaint?
It’s only fair to give them the chance to respond to and resolve any complaints you have about them before you contact us.
Many complaints processes allow eight weeks, and this is in line with our Terms of Reference. It gives agents enough time to:
- acknowledge your complaint
- investigate the details thoroughly – including checking any details with third parties which can take a long time
- consider any offers to put things right
- get back to you with a full response
The agent is not responding to my complaint – what can I do?
We recommend you send all complaint correspondence to the agent by recorded delivery or set a delivery receipt if you email them. That way you know if they’ve received it.
If you have not heard from the agent about your complaint, please contact them again. If they consistently fail to respond to you, and it’s been more than eight weeks since you first contacted them, please get in touch with us. We will need to see evidence that you have been trying to contact them. As soon as we have that, we can help.