Annual Report: Property search ‘fails’ to mention land earmarked for a new town

Published on Tuesday, 04 October 2016. Posted in Case Studies

TPO’s work with other trade bodies and Compliance Boards adds to the scheme’s unrivalled knowledge of all sectors of the property industry. This case concerns the actions of a search provider after a buyer alleged it had failed to disclose a planning application for a new town in the vicinity of the property she had purchased.

Annual Report: The risk of buying blind at auctions

Published on Tuesday, 04 October 2016. Posted in Case Studies

This buyer thought he had bought a two bed property at an auction, only to discover the house had just one bedroom. The Ombudsman’s role in this case was to unravel the events that proceeded the auction, and the actions of the agent on the day itself before the gavel fell.

Annual Report: Referencing & Rent Arrears

Published on Tuesday, 04 October 2016. Posted in Case Studies

This landlord claimed their agent was negligent and in breach of contract for its failure to adequately reference two tenants who went on to accrue significant arrears, resulting in a court possession order. The agent, who used a recognised third party referencing company, disputed the claims and the landlord lodged a complaint with TPO seeking nearly £20,000 for rent arrears together with compensation for emotional trauma and distress.

Buying Agent Fees

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

Complaint

In this case, the potential Buyer argued that the Buying Agent she had instructed, charged her an excessive abortive fee when she withdrew an offer that she had made for a property on the same day it had been made and accepted by the Seller. The Agent maintained their entitlement to charge the fee, given that it was detailed in the terms and conditions of their agreement.

No-Man’s Land

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

Complaint

The Buyers claimed that the Agent had incorrectly advertised the property. They explained that during the conveyancing process they discovered that an area of land at the rear of the garden was not included in the title plan belonging to the property, and in fact belonged to the local council. The Buyers argued that the Agent should not have marketed the property without having checked this. They also pointed out that they incurred additional costs in registering all of the garden (as seen) as part of the property, arguing that they were treated unfairly by the Agent as a result of the Seller not agreeing to make an allowance for these costs as part of the transaction.

‘Gentle Pressure’ and Questionable Offers

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

Complaint

Following the potential Buyer withdrawing from the transaction, the potential Sellers claimed that the Agent had fabricated information provided to the potential Buyer, including inventing offers and viewings. The Sellers also claimed that the Agent failed to deal with their complaint appropriately. The Agent’s response was that they simply applied 'gentle pressure' on a difficult purchaser to assist the progression of the transaction.

Unauthorised Building Work

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

Complaint

In this case, the successful Seller was concerned that the Agent had released the key to her Buyer a week before completion, enabling him to begin major building work (including re-wiring and the removal of fireplaces and kitchen cupboards) without her permission. She also alleged that they had permitted unaccompanied viewings; failed to issue a Memorandum of Sale in two instances and handled her complaint unsatisfactorily. She was seeking a refund of the £1,200 commission fee which she had eventually paid on a 'without prejudice' basis shortly before a Small Claims Court hearing to avoid further costs. The Agent acknowledged that the key had been released to the Buyer prematurely and was unable to explain how this had happened. However they insisted that contracts had already been exchanged and noted that the Seller had not suffered any financial disadvantage as the sale had completed successfully. They made no apology and denied the other allegations, but reluctantly offered a £100 fee reduction as a 'goodwill gesture'. When the Seller indicated that she was not satisfied with this and was withholding the commission fee, the Agent initiated proceedings in the Small Claims Court.