The Property Ombudsman issues revised Codes of Practice

Published on Thursday, 23 May 2019. Posted in Press Releases

On 1st June, The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme’s updated Codes of Practice will become effective. The revisions are substantial, and incorporate the Tenant Fees Act, Client Money Protection and GDPR requirements.

TPO consulted with 44 different organisations and individuals during the review process. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and The National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT) provided a technical review of the lettings and sales codes respectively. Along with the Scottish Sales Codes, they were then scrutinised and approved by CTSI. The new Codes are available on TPO Codes page which will soon be revised to include a facility to put forward requests for future changes to the codes.

TPO Issues reminder to all agents regarding redress membership as agent is fined £3,000 by local authority

Published on Thursday, 23 May 2019. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman has issued a reminder to all agents to ensure they have the correct redress membership to cover the work they undertake. This comes after a letting agent was issued with a £3,000 penalty by their Local Authority for not having redress membership to cover their Residential Leasehold Management work, despite being a member of The Property Ombudsman for Sales and Lettings.

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%. 

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.

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.

Letting agent in Middlesbrough expelled from The Property Ombudsman Scheme

Published on Thursday, 20 September 2018. Posted in Press Releases

A local letting agent in Middlesbrough, TeesSurveyors Lettings Ltd (TSL), has been expelled from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme for failing to pay awards in two cases relating to non-payment and late payment of rent. The awards total £3,133.06. This means TSL is not registered with a redress scheme, which is a requirement of every sales and letting agent in order to trade legally*.

Autumn Uplift for TPO with new systems, new members and a new Board structure

Published on Wednesday, 05 September 2018. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman has been working on several key changes to both its Board and internal processes.  These are changes which were flagged at TPO’s Conference in June and in trade articles and in the Annual Report earlier this year. As membership numbers grow following Ombudsman Services’ decision to withdraw redress to consumers in the property sector, the changes will support greater efficiency and effectiveness for both consumers and agents.

Coventry agent owing £8.5K to elderly couple is expelled from The Property Ombudsman scheme

Published on Thursday, 21 June 2018. Posted in Press Releases

Buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords in Coventry are being warned that a local sales and letting agent has been expelled from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme for failing to pay awards totalling £8,583.63.  This means the firm, Lawrence Property Consultants Ltd (LPC), is not registered with a redress scheme, which is a requirement of every sales and letting agent in order to trade legally*.