Latest TPO updates:

An Uninspected Inspection Pit

Published on Monday, 01 September 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following their purchase of the property, the buyers, Mr and Mrs B, raised a complaint with the Agent, pointing out that although the particulars detailed that the garage benefitted from a vehicle inspection pit, there was actually no such facility.

Property Being Sold (Misleading Actions)

Published on Monday, 01 September 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

During the initial viewing of the property, Mr and Mrs C informed the Agent that their reason for ending their current tenancy was because that property was on the housing market and they no longer wished to endure the inconvenience of prospective purchasers and viewings. They specifically asked the Agent if the property they were viewing was on the market for sale and were told by the Agent that it was not. Having entered into the tenancy Mr and Mrs C became aware that the property was, in fact, being advertised for sale. Mr and Mrs C complained that the Agent had failed to provide them with material information about the property and that, had they done so, they would not have entered into the tenancy.

Who Owns the Loft?

Published on Friday, 29 August 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Shortly before exchange of contracts was due to occur, Mrs G, the buyer, raised a number of complaints against the Agent in relation to the sales particulars and the information verbally provided to her during viewings, both of which indicated that the loft space attached to the top floor flat formed part of the property and had the potential to be converted into a further living space, but which her solicitor had subsequently discovered was not necessarily the case. The Agent responded by stating that the property had been marketed on the basis of its potential and on the information provided and approved by the sellers.

TPO Backs Client Money Protection and Calls for More Landlords to Seek the Greatest Protection Rather than the Cheapest Fee When Choosing a Letting Agent

Published on Thursday, 07 August 2014. Posted in Press Releases

TPO Backs Client Money Protection and Calls for More Landlords to Seek the Greatest Protection Rather than the Cheapest Fee When Choosing a Letting Agent

Fresh calls for letting agents to offer Client Money Protection have been backed by the Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme in the wake of several high-profile cases where landlords have lost thousands of pounds in rental income by dealing with an agent that did not have sufficient cover to protect consumers from rental fraud.

The Codes, which will be effective from 1st August 2014 and reflect the developments in industry practice and legislative changes affecting both consumers and agents.

TPO Launches New Property Codes of Practice for Sales and Lettings Agents - Codes Will Come into Force from 1st August 2014

Published on Tuesday, 15 July 2014. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme will be issuing revised Codes of Practice for sales and lettings agents from next month to further improve standards in the industry and ensure consumers are treated fairly.

The Codes, which will be effective from 1st August 2014 and reflect the developments in industry practice and legislative changes affecting both consumers and agents.

Planning Permission 2 (Not a Misleading Omission)

Published on Wednesday, 09 July 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Mr and Mrs B placed an acceptable offer on the property, which had not yet been completed by the property development company who was the seller. A number of months later it became apparent during the conveyancing that there was a planning issue which was likely to delay the transaction. The seller advised that the matter was in hand and would be resolved soon, however, Mr and Mrs B decided to withdraw from the transaction. They then
complained to the Agent asserting that they should have been made aware of the planning issue and sought compensation for their abortive fees.

LBW Lettings Is Expelled from the Property Ombudsman Scheme, following 'Serious' and 'Flagrant' Code Breaches & Its Failure to Pay Landlord Award

Published on Thursday, 29 May 2014. Posted in Press Releases

LBW Lettings Is Expelled from the Property Ombudsman Scheme, following 'Serious' and 'Flagrant' Code Breaches & Its Failure to Pay Landlord Award

The Property Ombudsman has expelled a Hampshire letting agent from its redress scheme following a landlord complaint.

Whytehead Property Management, which trades as LBW Lettings in Fleet, refused to pay an award made by Christopher Hamer, the Ombudsman, after he upheld a complaint concerning several issues, including the management of repairs to the landlord’s property and failing to reference a tenant.

The Property Ombudsman's Annual Report Reveals Record Levels of Complaints and Enquiries

Published on Thursday, 15 May 2014. Posted in Press Releases

New report reveals 23% increase in enquiries with lettings disputes representing 60% of consumer complaints.

The latest Annual Report from The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, reveals a substantial increase in the number of consumer enquiries and complaints against sales and lettings agents, with 16,000 enquiries received in 2013, a 23% increase on the previous year.

The Property Ombudsman launches Code of Practice for the newly-formed National Association of Property Buyers

Published on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman launches Code of Practice for the newly-formed National Association of Property Buyers

New national trade association created to raise standards in the 'Quick House Sale Sector' following OFT Market Study.

Some of the UK's largest and best-known property buying companies have collaborated with the Property Ombudsman (TPO) to create a new Code of Practice1 to address the issues raised in the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) market study into the 'Quick House Sale' sector2.

The Property Ombudsman Receives Government Approval to Provide Lettings Redress

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Press Releases

New legislative changes will make it a legal requirement for all letting agents to register with a redress scheme.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has approved The Property Ombudsman (TPO) to provide a free and independent redress service to landlords and tenants as part of new legislative changes affecting letting agents.

Wash with Problems

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The complainants, Mr and Mrs J, bought a property in the knowledge that five months prior to making their offer the property had been flooded. The property was situated near the sea and a river. A year after the purchase, the property was flooded again and, according to Mr and Mrs J, was at risk to flooding on an additional three separate occasions. Mr and Mrs J alleged that the Agent withheld information and deceived them about the true nature of the risk of flooding.

A Licence to Rent

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Mr and Mrs I, the buyers, were investors who approached the Agent with a view to buying a rental property suitable for their needs. The Agent duly provided them with the details of the property which included rental values and was being sold with a sitting tenant. Mr and Mrs I proceeded to purchase the property, however, two years later, after being contacted by the local council, Mr and Mrs I complained to Agent that they had neglected to inform them that the property fell under the Council’s selective licensing scheme which, in their opinion had devalued the property.

Storage Not Included

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case the potential buyers, Mr and Mrs H, viewed the property four times before entering into negotiations where a mutually agreeable price was agreed. However, during the conveyancing process it came to light that the storage arrangements described on the draft sales particulars did not form part of the sale. Unfortunately, the transaction broke down and Mr and Mrs H sought reimbursement of their costs from the Agent.

More Problems Down Below

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Upon making an agreeable offer, the potential buyers, Mr and Mrs G proceeded to instruct solicitors and a surveyor. Unfortunately, during this process it came to light that the basement, described in the sales particulars as having been converted to a further room that could be used a bedroom, did not have the required permission. Mr and Mrs G withdrew from the transaction and complained that the Agent’s sales particulars had misled them.

West Is Not the New East

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following her purchase of the property, the buyer, Ms F, asserted that the Agent had misrepresented the property by listing incorrect directional aspects on the sales particulars and that, as a result of this misinformation she would experience ongoing inconvenience until such times as she sold the property.

Associated Services

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the completion of the purchase, the buyer, Miss E, raised a number of complaints with the Agent regarding the pressure placed on her to use their associated conveyancing service, their record keeping concerning her offers and their subsequent complaint handling process.

Cultivating the Boundries

Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following her successful purchase of the property, Mrs D, the buyer, complained that the Agent had failed to disclose that that the sellers did not own the entire garden (as depicted in the sales particulars) and were, at that time, in the process of obtaining possessionary title for the land that they did not own but which they had cultivated as their garden.