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TPO Forum Drives New Lettings Industry Debate

Published on Tuesday, 27 November 2012. Posted in Press Releases

Organisations with varied interests in the English lettings industry, including some of the UK's major lettings agents, have met at The House of Lords to discuss improving industry standards.

The event was organised by Lord Richard Best, chairman of the independent council overseeing The Property Ombudsman, following the completion of a report 'Regulating Residential Letting Agents: The Issues and Options' which TPO commissioned from leading academic Professor Michael Ball, of Reading University.

Letting Agency That Kept Rent Money Expelled by Property Ombudsman

Published on Friday, 19 October 2012. Posted in Press Releases

A Bedford lettings agency that kept more than £2,000 rent money due to a landlord has been expelled from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme.

Town and Country Management Ltd (TCM), of 60, Harpur Street, Bedford, MK40 2QT, owned by Mr L La Mura and with an associate office in Ampthill, had been ordered by the Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, to pay £2,243.52 to a landlord.

Sole Selling Rights

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Sellers had by their account incurred dual fees from the Agent complained of and their previous agent. They had paid the Agent’s commission fee but complained that the Agent was due only 50% of the fee as they had only completed ‘half a job’ of selling the property.

Ready Willing & Able (Case 3)

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case the unsuccessful Seller argued that the Buyer introduced by the Agent was not prepared to unconditionally exchange contracts. The Agent’s response was that the signed agency agreement stated that a buyer was ‘ready, willing and able’ if they were prepared and able to unconditionally exchange contracts, which they considered the Buyer was.

Ready Willing & Able (Case 2)

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint
The potential Seller complained that the Agent had charged them a commission fee that they were not entitled to as the Buyers introduced could not be considered ‘ready, willing and able’, underlined by the fact that the transaction had not completed.

Ready Willing & Able (Case 1)

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The potential Sellers complained that the Agent had charged them a commission fee that they were not entitled to as the property had not been sold. The Agent responded by providing a short explanation simply stating that they had introduced a ‘ready, willing and able’ buyer and, therefore, were due a fee regardless of whether the property had sold.

A Misplaced Deposit

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the end of the tenancy and the completion of the check-out inspection, the Tenants alleged that the Agent withheld their security deposit despite advising them that it would be returned. The Agent responded by denying that they had received payment of the deposit at the outset.

Parking Problems

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Parking is often a contentious issue and in this case the Landlord was aware that parking was problematic at the property and had therefore requested that the Agent set out the allocated parking arrangements in the tenancy agreement. However, following complaints from neighbours of the property, the Landlord examined the agreement and complained
to the Agent that they had omitted the requested parking clauses and had been ineffectual in handling the neighbour complaints.

Inadequate Referencing

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Landlord let the property to the Tenant who paid no rent after the first month. She subsequently complained about the Agent’s referencing. The Agent responded, acknowledging that it had been a fraudulent application but defended their referencing
as adequate in the circumstances.

eBay Valuation

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case, the Landlord alleged that three pieces of furniture were lost from her property whilst the Agent was instructed and, although the Agent acknowledged responsibility for their oversight, the parties could not agree on the amount of compensation to be paid.

Transferring a Deposit Between Agents

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Landlord purchased the property with the Tenant in residence. She then instructed new managing agents and asked the previous owner’s Agent to transfer the deposit to her new agents. Following the Agent refusing to transfer the monies, the Landlord referred the matter to my Office.

Noisy Neighbours

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

After viewing the flat and agreeing a six month tenancy, the Tenant moved in to the property. However, after just one night the Tenant decided she could not live there due to noise experienced from neighbours. She demanded her rent and deposit back from the Agent.

Maintenence and Communication

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following a number of outstanding maintenance issues, the Tenant raised a complaint alleging that the managing Agent had failed to address those matters in a timely manner. They concerned repairs to the toilet and the balcony door, along with the delivery of a replacement fridge.

Monitoring the Transaction

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the completion of the sale, the Sellers complained that the Agent had not financially qualified the initial Potential Buyers (causing them inconvenience in having to withdraw from the transaction) or chased and monitored the progress of the eventual Buyers’ mortgage offer (causing them further inconvenience). The Sellers also complained that the lack of updates received from the Agent had caused them to incur unnecessary cost in having to place their belongings in storage because a completion date was not achieved.

Marketing, but no signed contract

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case, the recently bereaved Seller alleged that the Agent had marketed the property without his authorisation, resulting in a multi-agency commission fee claim from another agent whom he had already instructed.

Ready, Willing and Able?

Published on Monday, 01 October 2012. Posted in Press Releases

The Ombudsman's second Interim Report of 2012 is directed at the industry and specifically focuses on the commission-earning clauses used within estate agents' agency agreements.

Following The Property Ombudsman's renewed call for compulsory redress for letting agents in his Annual Report, his second Interim Report of 2012 is directed at the industry and specifically focuses on the commission-earning clauses used within estate agents' agency agreements.

Tandem Effort Supports Big Charity Bike Ride

Published on Monday, 30 July 2012. Posted in Press Releases

Tandem Effort Supports Big Charity Bike Ride

A national event by estate agents to help the homeless has been launched with the help of the Ombudsman and the Chairman of the Board.

The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, and Bill McClintock, chairman of the company that operates the ombudsman scheme, borrowed a tandem from Hayball Cyclesport in Winchester Street, Salisbury, so they could show joint support for a 3,000 mile charity bike ride around Britain.