Latest TPO updates:

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been advertised correctly, that the monies represented a ‘fee of intent’ (not a holding deposit) and that, as she had withdrawn from the transaction, her payment would not be returned.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.

Duty of Care

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

Complaint

Mr and Mrs C (the Sellers) alleged that, although they had instructed the Agent to market the property for sale, the Agent had, without their knowledge or consent, marketed their property for rent, let the property to tenants under a 12 month Tenancy Agreement and had accepted both a deposit and rent from the tenants.

Conflict of Interest

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

Complaint
Mr B (the Potential Seller) asserted that the Agent had undervalued the property and had then failed to disclose their interest in a company that had made an offer which the Agent had advised him to accept. The Agent denied that they had a financial interest in the company which they had introduced to the purchase.

Communication, Repairs and Fees

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

Complaint

After moving into the property, Mr and Miss A (the Tenants) advised the Agent that the television aerial sockets did not provide adequate reception and that they were unable to access the loft space in order to inspect the aerial. The Agent did not respond to the request and Mr and Miss A installed satellite television the following month.

Property Misdescription and a Tenancy Dispute

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

Complaint
Following their withdrawal from the transaction, Mr and Mrs A (the Potential Buyers) complained that the Agent had not divulged the full details of a local farmer’s tenancy claim for occupancy of all of the land attached to the property. Mr and Mrs A said the sales particulars had not included any reference to the dispute, yet the Agent had been aware of the problem six months before they began marketing the property as the farmer’s representative had written to the Agent setting out the claim. The Potential Buyers also asserted that the Agent had failed to divulge the extent of the land that the farmer was
claiming a tenancy on when they asked the Agent a direct question during the first viewing. The Agent acknowledged that they had received the letter, but said that, as it was unclear whether the farmer had any valid claim on the land, they did not include any details in the sales particulars.

 

Legal Action & Security Deposits

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

Complaint
Mr J (the Landlord) had retained monies relating to advanced rent following the end of the tenancy. As a result the tenants took him to Court where the judge ruled in their favour. During this process Mr J incurred legal costs in excess of £30,000 and, following the judgement, he raised 39 different complaints against the Agent which he considered had contributed to a proportion of those costs arising. The core issue was Mr J’s assertion that
the Agent’s failure to provide all of the prescribed information concerning the deposit to the tenants at the start of the tenancy, had resulted in legal action being taken and his subsequent loss of the Court case.


 

Renewal Fees & Terms of Business

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

Complaint

Following the property being let for a year, Miss H (the Landlord) was surprised to receive a demand for a further annual renewal fee when her tenants stayed on as periodic tenants. The Agent ignored her subsequent query and, seven months later, with no further contact, issued a final demand. Following further correspondence being issued to the Agent, Miss H raised a formal complaint.