Latest TPO updates:

Complaints to The Property Ombudsman rise by 16% in 2018 and more than £2million is returned to consumers in compensatory awards

Published on Wednesday, 08 May 2019. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has today [8th May 2019] released its 2018 annual report reflecting ever-increasing consumer demand for the service.

The report reveals TPO received a record number of enquiries in 2018 (29,023), up 22% on 2017.  Of these, 4,246 went on to be formal complaints, which also rose significantly year on year by 16%. 

The Winning Bid! But at what cost?

Published on Monday, 29 April 2019. Posted in Case Studies

A case that The Property Ombudsman was asked to review came from buyers who stated that the agent misrepresented the property they purchased at auction as they failed to make them aware that the property was tenanted or that there were only 55 years remaining on the lease. The buyers were seeking the return of the £3,000 reservation fee they paid which the agent had transferred to the seller following their withdrawal from the purchase.

More haste. less high speed 2!

Published on Monday, 29 April 2019. Posted in Case Studies

A case that The Property Ombudsman was asked to review came from buyers concerning the accuracy of the information within the local authority search compiled by the search provider (SP).

The True Cost of Guaranteed Rent

Published on Monday, 29 April 2019. Posted in Case Studies

A case that The Property Ombudsman was asked to review came from landlords about non-payment of rent and damage to the property. The landlords let the property to the agent as a tenant under a three-year agreement, giving the agent the authority to sub-let the property in return for a guaranteed rent. The complaints concerned events at the end of that agreement, including rent for a period when a sub-tenant’s belongings remained in the property, and damage to the property and contents that was found when the landlords regained possession.

Communication Conundrum

Published on Monday, 29 April 2019. Posted in Case Studies

A case that The Property Ombudsman was asked to review came from a leaseholder. The agent was instructed by the freeholder to provide a management service in respect of the block in which the property was situated. Installation of water meters The leaseholder complained that the agent did not consult her about the installation of communal water meters, saying that the agent did not provide clear responses in a timely manner to her queries about the installation of the meters and the effect this would have on her water bill.

Check, check and check again... For fraudulent references

Published on Monday, 29 April 2019. Posted in Case Studies

A case that The Property Ombudsman was asked to review came from a landlord concerning the referencing that was undertaken by the agent on the tenants. The landlord explained that she was assured by the agent, before she agreed to the tenancy, that the tenants (Ms A and Mr B) had passed referencing checks. After the tenancy commenced, the landlord stated that the tenants paid no further rent, that Mr B became threatening, and that the tenants harassed the occupant of the first floor flat, the landlord’s sister.

Cladding a cause for complaint

Published on Monday, 29 April 2019.

A case that The Property Ombudsman was asked to review came from a buyer who stated that the agent misrepresented the property purchased as they failed to make them aware that concerns had been raised as to the type of cladding at the property, following the Grenfell fire. Central to this case was the fact that the same company was both managing the block, via their block management company, and instructed by the sellers of the flat for sale.

Surveyor Squabbles

Published on Monday, 29 April 2019.

A case that The Property Ombudsman was asked to review came from a buyer about two issues raised in the survey. The buyer instructed the surveyor to carry out the building survey report. Two issues were the subject of the complaint.

DUAL FEE DISPUTE

Published on Monday, 29 April 2019. Posted in Case Studies

A case that The Property Ombudsman was asked to review came from a seller who was facing commission fee claims from two agents.

This was a dual fee dispute, with the seller having paid a commission fee to the second Agent (Agent 2) for the sale of the property and later being pursued for a commission fee by the first Agent (Agent 1) which had not been paid.

Kevin Hollinrake, founder of Hunters estate agency and now Conservative MP, joins panel at TPO Conference

Published on Thursday, 21 March 2019. Posted in Press Releases

Kevin Hollinrake, former estate agent and now Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, has been announced as the final member of the ‘panel of experts’ due to participate in, what is likely to be, a lively panel debate at The Property Ombudsman Conference on 10th July 2019. 

 Kevin represents the constituency where he was born and brought up and now lives with his wife and four children. He was elected to Parliament in May 2015 and holds the position of Parliamentary Private Secretary to DEFRA Secretary of State, Michael Gove.  He serves on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee. 

 

TPO Issues Guidance to Agents on Dual Fees

Published on Wednesday, 13 March 2019. Posted in Press Releases

Disputes over Dual Fees, where two estate agents have been instructed and both are claiming a fee for selling a property, have always been a regular cause of complaint to The Property Ombudsman (TPO). In 2017, TPO received 32 cases relating to dual commission fees, in 2018 there were 72 cases and so far in 2019, TPO has already received 25 cases, highlighting this as a growing issue. Other industry representatives have also shared similar concerns. Following TPO’s latest Industry and Consumer Forum meetings on 27th February 2019, TPO has issued clear guidance to agents. Updated Codes of Practice, underpinning the guidance, will follow in due course.

National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team’s industry guidance on referral fees

Published on Wednesday, 06 March 2019. Posted in Press Releases

National Trading Standards has published new guidance on referral fees received by estate agents across the UK, which will make previously hidden fees open and transparent to consumers.

The new guidance was produced by the NTS Estate Agency Team with assistance from The Property Ombudsman, NAEA Propertymark, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Guild of Property Professionals and the Property Redress Scheme.

TPO Conference Line-up Announced

Published on Wednesday, 06 February 2019. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman has announced the line-up of influential industry speakers in its annual conference, ‘Raising Standards’, taking place on 10 July 2019 at The National Conference Centre in Solihull.

The Property Ombudsman comments on response to Government consultation on strengthening consumer redress in housing

Published on Thursday, 24 January 2019. Posted in Media Articles

The Property Ombudsman comments on response to Government consultation on strengthening consumer redress in housing

Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman at The Property Ombudsman comments on today’s publication of the summary of responses and the Government’s response to the consultation on Strengthening Consumer Redress in the Housing Market

TPO welcomes surveyors as members

Published on Wednesday, 16 January 2019. Posted in Press Releases

As of 1 January 2019, The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is approved by the RICS to provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) on all surveying services provided to consumers. This approval extends TPO’s current approval for residential agency (lettings, estate agency and property management), making TPO the only ADR provider approved for consumer-facing disputes for all surveying services.

Manchester based Estate and Letting agent expelled from The Property Ombudsman

Published on Wednesday, 31 October 2018. Posted in Press Releases

Buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords in Manchester are being warned that a local estate and letting agent, trading as Property Solutions GB and operating from its branch in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, has been expelled from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme. In addition, the agent does not currently appear to have any professional memberships or any Rightmove or Zoopla accounts.