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.
My investigation was impeded by the Agent’s failure to provide a copy of the Terms of Business agreed with the Landlord, confirmation of her instruction to them, confirmation of the arrangements under which the Tenancy had continued over a 12-month period or any contemporaneous notes of their communication with either the Landlord or the Tenant. After careful review of the available documents, I was critical of the Agent’s failure to demonstrate effective and pro-active communication with the Landlord during a 10-month
period and, in particular, when updating her following attempts to visit the Property and regarding its subsequent condition.
I took into account that the Agent had no control over the Tenant’s approach to allowing access to the Property on pre-arranged inspection dates. I also commented that the Agent was not responsible for any breaches by the Tenant of her obligations under the Tenancy Agreement or the poor condition that she had left the Property in at the end of the Tenancy. Furthermore, I was not persuaded that the Agent should be responsible for the costs incurred by the Landlord in relation to removing the Tenant and her belongings at the end of the Tenancy or the cost of any remedial works to return the Property to a satisfactory condition. However, I considered that the Agent’s failure to provide Terms of Business,
contemporaneous progress notes and details of their instruction did not demonstrate that they had maintained records to the standard required in the TPO Code of Practice. As this failure resulted in denying the Landlord a thorough investigation of the issues raised and caused avoidable and unnecessary distress, aggravation and inconvenience, I made an award of £150.
Paragraph 1h of the TPO Code of Practice requires Registered Firms to keep clear and full written records of their relationship with landlords and tenants for at least six years and to produce these records when required by TPO.