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The Property Ombudsman Supports Landlord Complaint and Expels Arvin Estates Ltd

Published on Monday, 14 April 2014. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman Supports Landlord Complaint and Expels Arvin Estates Ltd

Arvin Estates Ltd (AE) has been expelled by The Property Ombudsman following its failure to pay an award made by the Ombudsman following a complaint that he had independently reviewed and upheld for a landlord.

The agent, which is understood to have now ceased trading, provided sales and lettings services and operated one branch located at 136 The Crossways, Hounslow, TW5 0JR.

Lawbreaking Agent Expelled from the Property Ombudsman Scheme

Published on Sunday, 30 March 2014. Posted in Press Releases

A Derbyshire property agency has been expelled from The Property Ombudsman scheme after failing to pay an award made against it.

TPO had delayed the expulsion of Letzlet Ltd, trading as Beechwood Lettings, while the complainant was helped to obtain a court judgment of £2,176, including court costs, against Letzlet Ltd, of Beechwood House, Matlock Street, Bakewell.

Communal Parking - Misleading Action

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following their purchase of the Property, Mr and Mrs F complained that the Agent had provided incorrect information in stating that there were five communal parking spaces available near the Property when this was not the case. Mr and Mrs F maintained that they were told these were in addition to the double garage.

Structural Issues - Misleading Omission

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Seller (a mortgagee in possession), instructed Agent B to market the Property for sale on a dual agency basis with Agent A, who had been marketing the Property prior to it being repossessed. Following the initial viewing the eventual buyer, Mr E, submitted an offer through Agent B which was accepted. Exchange and completion took place four weeks later. However, after several weeks, Mr E wrote to Agent B to complain, advising that Agent A had given him a copy of a structural report outlining subsidence at the Property with an estimated repair cost of between £25,000 and £30,000 adding that they had informed him that they had provided a copy of that report to Agent B two months previous. Agent B denied that they had received a copy of the report and argued that they were not advised of any structural concerns with the Property by the Seller or any estate agent.

Investment Property - Misleading Action

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The potential buyers, Mr and Mr D, asserted that the Agent’s sales particulars were misleading as they had described the Property as being ‘ideal for any investment’, yet they had discovered through their solicitor that the lease contained a covenant preventing the Property from being sub-let, making it unsuitable for a buy to let investment. The Agent responded stating that they had been unaware of the covenant, that this was a matter for legal representatives to determine and, therefore, they could not be held accountable for
Mr and Mr D’s losses.

Title Issues - Misleading Omission

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the discovery of issues concerning access and a leasehold title, the potential buyer, Mrs C, withdrew from the transaction and raised a complaint against the Agent stating that this information should have been divulged to her at an earlier stage which, if it had been, would have resulted in her not incurring legal and surveying costs. The Agent responded by pointing that the issues concerned fell within her conveyancer’s responsibility, adding that they were not made aware of either issue by the Seller.

Neighbouring Development - Misleading Omission

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following their third viewing, Mr and Miss B made a number of offers for the Property the last of which was accepted. Conveyancers were appointed and a survey instructed.

However, several weeks into the transaction Mr and Miss B viewed a local news programme where it was reported that a large development of 1,200 houses, a retail park and a waterside park were planned in an area 200 metres away from the Property. After further research Mr and Miss B found that the draft proposal had been made public several months before they viewed the Property. They decided to withdraw from the transaction and subsequently complained that the Agent had failed to disclose this information to them, despite stating that they had raised questions about proposed local developments during their viewings. The Agent contested that Mr and Miss B had raised such questions.

 

Mineshaft - Misleading Omission

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case, the potential buyers, Mr and Mrs A, alleged that the Agent had failed to inform them that there were environmental issues in respect of the Property and asserted that, had they been made aware, they would not have proceeded to make an offer and thereafter incurred the costs that they did.

Opening Hours - Misleading Action

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Shortly after the commencement of the tenancy, the Tenants, Mr and Miss F, raised concerns regarding the Agent’s communication. Firstly, Mr and Miss F alleged that the Agent had provided them with a misleading response in relation to them querying the trading hours of the business on the ground floor of the Property. Secondly, Mr and Miss F raised concerns regarding the condition of the Property.

Possession order - Misleading Omission

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case, the Tenant, Mr E, complained that the Agent should not have let the Property given that they were aware that a possession order had already been served prior to the commencement of the tenancy. The Agent failed to respond to the complaint.

Disclosure of Burglaries - Misleading Omission

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The complainant, Miss D (on behalf of herself and four other Tenants) complained to the Agent that they should have been informed that the Property had been burgled on two occasions prior to them entering into the tenancy agreement and that the security measures previously recommended by the police following the first burglary had not been implemented.

Right of way - Misleading Action

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case the tenant, Mr C, alleged that the Agent had provided him with misleading information concerning a right of way across the Property. The Agent responded stating that the information had been provided to them in good faith by the Landlord.

Interim Report: December 2013

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has issued his latest Interim Report for 2013, which includes:

  • The latest membership and consumer enquiry statistics
  • Consumer case studies for sales and lettings that were supported by the Ombudsman
  • The Ombudsman's views on;
    • The impact of new The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008) (CPRs) for the property industry, which replaced the Property Misdescriptions Act after it was repealed in October 2013
    • This year's ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that requires agents to disclose all non-optional fee charges to tenants with the rental figure in their media advertisements as of November 2013.

Residents Parking - Misleading Action

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following commencement of the tenancy, the Tenants found that the residents parking that the Agent had advertised with the Property, did not exist. They immediately raised the issue with the Landlord, Mrs B, and sought to renegotiate the tenancy terms. Mrs B promptly complained to the Agent.

Disclosure of building works - Misleading Omission

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Tenants, Mr and Mrs A, agreed to rent a fourth floor apartment in London for 18 months without the knowledge that six weeks after the start of the tenancy, the building the apartment was situated in was scheduled for major redevelopment works. According to Mr and Mrs A, had they known, they would not have signed the tenancy agreement and,as such, blamed the Agent for not providing them with all the information they needed to come to an informed decision.

The Property Ombudsman launches the UK's first Code of Practice for Buying Agents

Published on Monday, 18 November 2013. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is launching a new Code of Practice to cater for the growing number of Buying Agents acting for consumers buying property in the UK.

TPO provides a free and impartial dispute resolution service for consumers and will be implementing The Buying Agent Code of Practice on 1st January 2014. The new Code has been designed to create a uniform set of standards for buying agents based in the UK to protect the interests of consumers and to promote best practice in the industry.