Further things to consider

How long does the review process take?

Our aim is to provide a proposed decision within 16-18 weeks of a complaint being accepted for review. However, these timeframes may differ depending on the number of complaints we are dealing with.

Can I request an oral hearing?

In the majority of cases we will resolve complaints on the basis of the written evidence submitted. However, we will consider requests for oral hearings made in writing, setting out the issues you wish to raise, so that we can consider whether they are material to the final decision.

The request for an oral hearing will be considered by reference to the nature of the issues to be determined and, in particular, to the extent which the complaint raises issues of credibility or contested facts that cannot be fairly determined by reference to documentary evidence and written submissions.

An oral hearing is not like a court hearing. We cannot treat evidence like a judge would. For example, we can’t question or cross examine people under oath. So we take what each party says as their version of events. This means you need to be able to back up what you say at the hearing with the evidence you send us, so it is not just one person’s word against another’s.

We use the European Convention on Human Rights to decide whether the hearing should be public or private.

If you would like an oral hearing, please write to The Property Ombudsman, Milford House, 43-55 Milford Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2BP. Please explain your reasons so we can decide whether or not they could affect the final decision. If we don’t agree to an oral hearing, we’ll write to let you know why.

Publication of the decision

Our case reviews and decisions remain confidential between you, the complainant and us. Details of complaints may (in accordance with the requirements of the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013) be provided to other consumer redress schemes or any person/organisation exercising a regulatory function. No personal details or specific aspects of the complaint will be given to anyone outside of TPO without your consent.

We do, however, publish abridged and anonymised case summaries on our website and in our interim and annual reports and via other sources to assist agents to understand the common pitfalls and mistakes and encourage best practice.