Articles tagged with: Lettings

All Inclusive

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Prior to renting the property the Tenant viewed accompanied by the Agent’s representative who explained to him that the rent included all bills. After the viewing, the Tenant asked the representative to confirm what he would have to pay, to which she responded that the weekly rent was due in advance and that all bills were included. Unsurprisingly, the Tenant was subsequently shocked to receive council tax bills which eventually culminated in a County Court judgement being made against him. The Agent’s response was that, as per the tenancy agreement, he was still required to pay the council tax.

Communication Not Guaranteed

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The complaint raised concerned the Agent's failure to continue to notify the Guarantor of rent arrears that had accrued under the tenancy. He also accused the Agent of failing to notify him when the Landlord decided to put the matter into the hands of her solicitors and of failing to make those solicitors aware of his role by not providing the Deed of Guarantee he had signed. As a result of these shortcomings, the Guarantor argued that he had incurred unnecessary court costs.

Misinformation, Arrears and No Guarantee

Published on Friday, 17 April 2015. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the eventual eviction of the Tenants, the Landlord complained to the Agent that their referencing process had been flawed as it had not divulged a number of financial issues of which, had she known, meant she would not have agreed to the tenancy. The Agent acknowledged some shortcomings, but refused to make an offer equivalent to the loss of rent that the Landlord was seeking.

Minister urges letting agents to sign up to TPO's Lettings Code of Practice

Published on Thursday, 26 February 2015. Posted in Press Releases

Minister urges letting agents to sign up to TPO's Lettings Code of Practice

Jo Swinson, Consumer Affairs Minister has spoken out in support of a new Trading Standards Institute (TSI) campaign to raise awareness of their Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS), which replaced the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) scheme in 2013.

The initial focus of the media campaign will be to remind tenants and landlords of their legal right to free and independent dispute resolution through TPO, the only redress scheme to operate CCAS-approved Codes.

Thousands of tenants and landlords report disputes to TPO following new government legislation for lettings agents

Published on Monday, 23 February 2015. Posted in Press Releases

Thousands of tenants and landlords report disputes to TPO following new government legislation for lettings agents

Sixty-nine per cent of consumer complaints were supported by the TPO scheme, which recently gained approval from the TSI CCAS for its Lettings Code of Practice.

TPO, the UK’s largest government-approved redress scheme, has published its latest market statistics to highlight the number of landlords and tenants who have used its free, fair and independent service following new government legislation for letting agents.

PRS 360 Degrees Report

Published on Thursday, 05 February 2015. Posted in Press Releases

PRS 360 Degrees Report

TPO can confirm the publication of a new report, written by Kate Faulkner, with the backing of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) and the industry, which can be found here.

Christopher Hamer, the Ombudsman, provided his expert opinion and guidance on some of the topics covered in the report, having seen thousands of issues that many landlords and tenants experience when a dispute arises in the private rental sector.

TPO Receives Record Number of Complaints from Tenants & Landlords

Published on Wednesday, 01 October 2014. Posted in Press Releases

TPO Receives Record Number of Complaints from Tenants & Landlords

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has reported a sharp increase in the number of consumer complaints for the residential lettings sector, ahead of the requirement for all letting agents in England that comes into force this week (1st October 2014) for every letting agent to register with an approved redress scheme.

The figures, published in The Property Ombudsman's 2014 Interim Report reveal that 1,187 complaints were resolved in total about both sales and lettings issues between 1 January and 30 June 2014, with 721 complaints (61%) made against letting agents – a 37% increase on the same period last year.

The Ombudsman upheld 74% of the complaints made by landlords and tenants against letting agents.

TPO Supports New Cross-Industry Code for the Private Rental Sector

Published on Thursday, 11 September 2014. Posted in Press Releases

TPO Supports New Cross-Industry Code for the Private Rental Sector

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has expressed its support for a new 'best practice' Code for the Private Rented Sector (PRS) which was officially launched today by the Minister for Housing, Brandon Lewis.

The new PRS Code, which comes immediately into effect, was developed at the request of the Department for Communities and Local Government's (DCLG) in 2013. Facilitated by RICS, the drafting of the Code brought together TPO and sixteen other leading property organisations to collectively outline mandatory and recommended best practices for landlords and lettings agents in order to improve the stock of privately rented homes in the UK.

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.

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.

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.

Re-Depositing the Problem

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

Complaint

Following the end of the tenancy and the tenant, Miss J, not receiving her deposit monies, she complained that Agent had failed to keep her informed about which protection scheme the deposit was registered with; that the Agent had not advised her how to dispute the landlord’s claims on the deposit and that the Agent had transferred the deposit to the landlord without her agreement. In addition, Miss J pointed out that despite requesting the same, the Agent had failed to provide her with the name and contact address of the landlord within the required timescale.

Blot on the Landscape

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

Complaint

A few days after moving in to the property, Mrs H, the tenant, arrived home to find the boundary hedge removed and her countryside view replaced with a substantial building site relating to the neighbour’s building project. Mrs H complained to the Agent that had she known that the countryside property was to be next to a building site for a prolonged period, she would not have applied for the tenancy. The Agent claimed that they were unaware that building works were being planned and stated that, as the landlords had already paid Mrs H an amount in compensation, the matter had already been dealt with.

Cold Nights, Warm Days

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

Complaint

The prospective tenants, Mr and Miss G, claimed that the Agent had misled them by stating that the property benefited from electric night storage heaters when, in fact, they were ordinary electric heaters. Upon finding out this information Mr and Miss G withdrew from the tenancy and asked for a refund of their holding deposit. The Agent refused, claiming that the prospective tenants had not asked them to investigate the matter.

An Expensive Conversation

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

Complaint

The day after Mr and Mrs F, the prospective tenants, viewed the property, they paid the Agent a holding deposit of £280. Later the same day the landlord accepted their offer however, the next day, for reasons undisclosed, Mr and Mrs F withdrew from the proposed tenancy and requested the return of their monies. The Agent refused, pointing out that as per the terms and conditions of that payment, following the landlord’s acceptance of their offer, the holding deposit became non-refundable.

A Tale of Two Tenancies

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

Complaint

Upon application for the tenancy, the prospective tenants, Mr and Miss D, were charged a holding deposit/administration fee of £500 which, following their references being declined, was withheld by the Agent. Mr and Miss D complained that the fee was unfair, especially as the Agent had not fully considered all of the referencing information provided.

Serial Fraudster

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

Complaint

Following the tenancy commencing problems arose in relation to the credibility of the tenants following a request from a third party for the refund of £6,700 paid from their credit card without their permission for the deposit and advance rent. The Landlords, Mr and Mrs C, subsequently complained that the Agent (instructed on a tenant find only basis) had failed to undertake the necessary referencing checks on the tenants which, had they done so, would have exposed the applicants as serial fraudsters.

Problems Down Below

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

Complaint

The prospective tenant, Mr B, viewed the property (a ground floor flat) that was advertised as benefitting from a cellar. At the time of the viewing Mr B and the Agent discovered that the stairs to the cellar had been broken by a contractor who had been working in the property. The contractor had not reported the damage to the Agent or the landlord. According to the Agent, he informed Mr B that he would be surprised if the landlord would mend the stairs. The comment was subsequently disputed by Mr B, following his withdrawal from the transaction, who claimed that the Agent had told him to pay an administration fee of £120 and that they would let him know what was to happen with the cellar.