After moving into the property, the tenants, Mr and Mrs B, contacted the Agent to advise that they were unable to access the garage. The Agent initially responded telling them where they could find the key. The key was not where they said and upon further questioning at a later date stated that the landlord had informed them that the garage was
not operational and unfit for use. Mr and Mrs B subsequently complained that the property had been incorrectly described to them.
I noted that the Agent had included the garage in the property particulars and had marketed it as being included in the tenancy. I also found that there was no information in the Agent’s file to substantiate their argument that the landlord had subsequently withdrawn the garage as part of the let as it was unfit for purpose. Indeed, had such a
situation occurred I would have expected the Agent to have compiled detailed records which would have included their recommendations to resolve the matter by way of suggesting and arranging a suitable repair. Moreover, had the garage been of a condition that it was not fit for use, I would have expected the Agent to have identified this at the market appraisal stage.
I found that the Agent had not provided Mr and Mrs B with accurate information about the property and this subsequently caused them a problem when they discovered they could not use the garage to store some of their items. I also found that the Agent had not been proactive in addressing the complaint when it was raised, had not investigated it thoroughly or provided an adequate response to it. I, therefore, supported the complaint and made an award of £500.
Paragraph 4f of the TPO Code of Practice obliges Agents to ensure that they comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and take reasonable steps to ensure statements made about a property, whether oral, pictorial or written are accurate and not misleading. Marketing a property with a specific feature which does not form part of the offered tenancy is misleading.