Latest TPO updates:

Basic Complaints Handling

Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following their offer being rejected, the Potential Buyers alleged that the Agent had advised them that the Property was not under offer at the time they viewed, when a sale had actually been agreed to another party. The Potential Buyers also raised issues concerning the manner in which the Agent had dealt with their subsequent complaint.

An Unsigned Agency Agreement

Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Upon being presented with the Agent’s invoice after successfully proceeding to exchange of
contracts on the Property, the Sellers raised a number of complaints in which they stated that the original Agency Agreement was incorrect and that, as they had not signed the document, there was no agreement in place which meant that the Agent was not entitled to charge them a fee. The Agent maintained that, as they had introduced a buyer who had gone on to purchase the Property, they were entitled to a commission fee.

Progress Notes

Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Sellers, complained that, as the housing market had been so quiet, they had suspended
the marketing of the Property but had reached an understanding with the Agent that they should still keep the Property in mind if any potential buyers showed an interest in similar properties. The Sellers believed this had terminated their agreement with the Agent. However, six months later the Agent called the Sellers to arrange a viewing which
resulted in an offer and the Property being sold. The Sellers claimed that due to the lack of active marketing, they should be given a reduction in the commission fee. They also complained that the Agent had not passed information on to the Buyer as they had requested and failed to record and pass information on to their staff, leading to the Sellers
being unnecessarily inconvenienced during the transaction.

Communication and Record Keeping

Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Landlords complained that the Agent had not given adequate notice of the Tenant’s
intention to vacate the property, that they had not chased up rent arrears and that they had
failed to adequately respond to their subsequent Complaint. The Agent responded by stating
that the Landlords were already aware of the Tenant having given notice and referred to the
contemporaneous progress notes on their file to support their view.

References & Missing Documents

Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Landlord had instructed the Agent to find a tenant which they did. After approximately three months the Tenant stopped paying the rent. The Landlord served a Section 8 Notice on the Tenant who vacated the Property with rent arrears of more than £1,500. The landlord accepted that the Tenant was responsible for paying the rent but after conducting some research she was concerned that the Tenant had passed the Agent’s reference criteria.

A Missed Opportunity

Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Landlords had instructed the Agent to let and manage the Property for a period of more than 19 months. However, following the Tenants vacating the Property, the Landlords subsequently spent £1,500 repairing damage caused by prolonged misuse and a lack of care and cleaning by the Tenants. They claimed on the deposit and sought the balance of their losses from the Agent.

The Agreed Level of Rent

Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Landlords complained that the Agent had not obtained their consent before they let the Property to the Tenant at a rent that was somewhat below the amount advertised. The Agent stated that they had obtained the Landlords’ consent, prior to the letting, during a telephone conversation.

Communication and Inspections

Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint
The Landlord complained about the Agent’s failure to carry out inspections, arrange for
appropriate remedial works to be undertaken and to communicate effectively with her throughout the Tenancy. The Landlord also blamed the Agent’s management for the poor condition that the Property was left in at the end of the Tenancy and the costs incurred by her to return the Property to a satisfactory condition.

Letting Agent Support Still Rising for the Property Ombudsman

Published on Monday, 23 April 2012. Posted in Press Releases

Lettings agents across the UK are continuing to show their support for The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPO), with more than 300 offices joining this year to take the total past 9,000.

'The Government continues to ignore pleas for residential letting agents to be regulated in the same way as sales agents, which we believe would raise standards across the industry,' says Gerry Fitzjohn, chief operating officer of TPO.

Holding Deposit/Fee of Intent

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Miss E (the Prospective Tenant) claimed that the failure of the Agent to advertise the property correctly and to represent both her and the landlord properly caused her to withdraw from the tenancy. Miss E requested a full refund of the £1,000 she paid to the Agent to ‘hold’ the property. The Agent responded stating that the property had been advertised correctly, that the monies represented a ‘fee of intent’ (not a holding deposit) and that, as she had withdrawn from the transaction, her payment would not be returned.

Rent Arrears and Communication

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

After the tenant vacated the property owing four months rent, Mr D (the Landlord) raised a complaint with the Agent, stating that they had failed to inform him about the increasing debt and, therefore, denied him the opportunity to take action. The Agent’s response was that, whilst they acknowledged communication failures, they had assumed that Mr D would have identified the problem for himself from the lack of rent going into his account.

Annual Report 2011 – Press Release

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Press Releases

Letting agents, consumers and acceptable standards

Following another year which saw a further increase in letting complaints, The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, is renewing his call for standards to be raised across the lettings industry in his latest Annual Report.

Commission Fee

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the completion of the sale, the Agent wrote to Mr and Mrs J requesting payment of their commission fee. Mr and Mrs J responded by making a number of allegations which included the property being overvalued and the Agent failing to adequately communicate with them.

Data Protection

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

A year after selling his property, Mr H alleged that the Agent had provided the address of his new property to an unauthorised third party, which then resulted in that third party threatening him outside of his house later that day.

Commission Fees & the Introduction to the Purchase

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the property being sold, Mrs G (the Seller) complained that the Agent she had previously instructed to market the property had wrongly claimed a commission fee when it was eventually sold by another agent. The Agent argued that they had introduced the buyer to the purchase and were therefore due a commission fee.

Conflict of Interest & Planning Proposals

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint
Following the sale of the property, the son of the Seller, Mr F, accused the Agent of failing to disclose a conflict of interest. Specifically Mr F asserted that a conflict of interest had arisen as a result of another department within the Agent’s offices acting on behalf of a neighbour by submitting a planning request to the local council which had resulted in lower offers being received for the property.

 

Property Security and Marketing

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint
Shortly after the sale of their property, Mr and Mrs E (the Sellers) raised three complaints against the Agent concerning access to their property, a number of viewings and the provision of the Memorandum of Sale.

Property Misdescription and the View

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following their successful purchase, Mr and Mrs D (the Buyers) complained that the Agent had failed to inform them of a proposed development which would impair the view from the property. Mr and Mrs D considered that the Agent was in breach of the Property Misdescriptions Act and Paragraph 4h of the Code of Practice.