Latest TPO updates:

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Regulations (2008) (CPRs) for the property industry, which replaced the Property Misdescriptions Act after it was repealed in October 2013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


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


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.

Ombudsman Christopher Hamer Responds to Yesterday's Dispatches Programme Aired on Channel 4:

Published on Tuesday, 29 October 2013. Posted in Press Releases

Channel 4 Dispatches has raised an important matter. We were contacted by the filmmakers and stressed the point to them that too many consumers are unaware that these practices are illegal and therefore fail to complain.

The key issue at the heart of this matter is consumer education. We hope programmes such as these assist in raising awareness and educating consumers so they understand their rights and can identify when and how to complain.


TPO Expels London Agent

Published on Friday, 06 September 2013. Posted in Press Releases

Lexton Property Services failed to pay tenant and landlord awards upheld by the Ombudsman following several persistent breaches of TPO's Lettings Code of Practice.

Lexton Property Services, a former lettings agent, has been expelled and refused future membership from The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPO) for a minimum of three years following several serious breaches of its Code of Practice.

TPO Expels Agent for Failure to Pay Tenant Award

Published on Friday, 06 September 2013. Posted in Press Releases

London Rentals UK expelled from TPO full membership for two years following a serious breach of TPO's Code of Practice.

London Rentals UK has been refused renewal of its membership with The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPO) for two years following its failure to pay an award as directed by the Ombudsman following his review of a complaint.

Ombudsman Scheme Expels Yorkshire Estate Agency

Published on Thursday, 18 July 2013. Posted in Press Releases

WYL Ltd, a Yorkshire sales and lettings estate agency, has been expelled from membership of The Property Ombudsman scheme due to a failure to pay the Ombudsman's award and other breaches of the Code of Practice.

WYL Ltd, of 1 Russell Street, Keighley, BD21 2JU, had committed serious breaches of the TPO Lettings Code of Practice and failed to pay an award of £3,450 made against it by the Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer.

The Property Ombudsman Welcomes Government Support for a Code of Practice for Letting Agents

Published on Thursday, 18 July 2013. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) responds to new report published by the Communities and Local Government Committee on the Private Rental Sector published today

As the UK's largest property ombudsman scheme, with more than 22,000 sales and lettings branches registered, Ombudsman Christopher Hamer was invited to present evidence during the Select Committee's recent investigation into the Private Rental Sector.

The Property Ombudsman Reveals Why Client Money Protection Is a Necessity for the UK Lettings Market

Published on Monday, 15 July 2013. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has backed calls by its registered agents and the industry to make Client Money Protection (CMP) cover available to all UK lettings agents.

Up until this month, CMP cover was only available through a number of trade bodies. The introduction of two new CMP providers this month will enable letting agents that are not registered with a trade body to sign up for cover.

Interim Report July 2013

Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Press Releases

In the Ombudsman's first Interim Report for 2013, Christopher Hamer focusses on the impact of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) for the day-to-day business operations of estate and letting agents.

The report has been produced for the 22,0001 sales and lettings offices registered with The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme and provides case studies, commentary and guidance to assist agents in meeting their obligations under the CPRs.

Furnished or Unfurnished

Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Case Studies


The tenants, Mr and Mrs F, viewed the property whilst the previous tenant was in occupation. The property was being marketed by the Agent as unfurnished. However, when the tenancy started the bedrooms contained some furniture which Mr and Mrs F did not require. They raised a complaint three days after the tenancy started concerning the contents, condition and cleanliness of the property. Mr and Mrs F requested an immediate termination of the tenancy and the return of the rental and deposit monies paid to the Agent.

Drainage Problems - Misleading Omission

Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Case Studies


After moving into the property, the tenants, Mr and Mrs E contacted the Agent to inform them of bad smells emanating from the kitchen. The Agent reported the matter to the landlord however, the issue took five months to resolve and at one point the toilets could not be used when sewage from the inspection pit overflowed into the neighbours’ driveway. After discussing the matter in some detail with the landlord, Mr and Mrs E complained that Agent had been aware that the property had suffered from a history of drainage problems but had withheld that information from them prior to the start of the tenancy.


The Neighbours - Misleading Omission

Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Case Studies


Shortly after moving in to the property the tenant expressed his dissatisfaction surrounding the noise levels coming from the neighbouring property. The tenant stated that he had asked the Agent during the viewing who was occupying the next door property and was informed that it was a family. However, after moving into the property it became apparent that the next door neighbours were students who had a propensity for playing loud music long into the night. The tenant agreed with the landlord, Mrs D, to end the tenancy early. Mrs D then complained to the Agent that they had misrepresented the property to the tenant which directly caused her loss of rent following a vacant period of three months.

Shed Conversion - Misleading Omission

Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Case Studies


The potential tenants, Mr and Mrs B signed the tenancy agreement several weeks in advance of the tenancy starting. However, during their moving preparations, the Agent informed them of the landlord’s intention to develop the shed in the garden into a studio for him to work from. Mr and Mrs B were understandably unhappy about the situation (especially as Mrs B intended to work from home) and considered the property to be no longer suitable. Despite the Agent’s attempts to negotiate a solution, Mr and Mrs B withdrew from the transaction and all monies paid were returned to them. However, they were faced with the inconvenience of finding another property at short notice and asserted that the Agent had known about the landlord’s plans at an early stage but had failed to disclose the same.

False Credentials - Banned Practice

Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Case Studies


As part of a dispute arising from additional and unauthorised work carried out by a gardener at the property, Mr A, the tenant, raised a number of complaints against the Agent, one of which was that the Agent had falsely claimed membership of a wellknown trade body.

An Undropped Kerb - Misleading Action

Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Case Studies


After purchasing the property Mr and Mrs F began to experience problems with other drivers parking in front of their property and blocking their access to the hard-standing in their front garden where they parked their car. After investigating the matter with the Highways Department, it became clear that unless the kerb was dropped, other drivers were entitled to park in such a manner which restricted access. Mr and Mrs F noted that the property particulars referred to the property as benefitting from off-street parking, yet the Highways Department had informed them that it was illegal to drive over a pavement where the kerb had not been dropped to access the space. They subsequently complained to the Agent, seeking the cost of dropping the kerb as compensation.