Interim Report July 2013

Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Press Releases

In the Ombudsman's first Interim Report for 2013, Christopher Hamer focusses on the impact of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) for the day-to-day business operations of estate and letting agents.

The report has been produced for the 22,0001 sales and lettings offices registered with The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme and provides case studies, commentary and guidance to assist agents in meeting their obligations under the CPRs.

Boost to Protection for Consumers Using Lettings Agents

Published on Wednesday, 17 April 2013. Posted in Press Releases

Housing Minister Mark Prisk has promised legislation to bring residential lettings agents within the scope of The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act, for better consumer protection.

The move has been welcomed by The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, as a positive step to raise consumer protection by giving access to an independent disputes resolution mechanism and also an opportunity to raise standards across an industry thought to handle £14 billion a year, earning £1 billion for itself in the process.

Membership Notification

Published on Friday, 05 April 2013. Posted in Press Releases

Representatives from TPO, ARLA, RICS and UKALA met with the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) on 22 March regarding the ASA ruling on disclosure of non-optional fees and charges to tenants.

CAP is the body responsible for issuing guidance on how, in practical terms, the obligations now placed on letting agents by the ASA ruling can be met. The group welcomed CAP's offer to the organisations attending the meeting for further involvement in process of defining the best approach for guidance.

TPO's Response to the Your Move Ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority

Published on Friday, 15 March 2013. Posted in Press Releases

An update from TPO regarding the ASA's recent ruling relating to the inclusion of tenant fees in advertisements

The recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) relating to advertisements from Your Move lettings together with the Which? mystery shopping report of four letting agents have once again brought the issue of disclosure of fees imposed on tenants to the forefront of the current debate about the Private Rented Sector.

Annual Report 2012 - Press Release

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Press Releases

Ombudsman continues to press the government to bring about legislation to regulate letting agents

In his 2012 Annual Report, The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, reiterates his call for some form of regulation of letting agents. At the very least Mr Hamer argues that all letting agents operating in the UK should be required by law to join the Ombudsman scheme.

OFT Decision Forces TPO Logo Change

Published on Tuesday, 29 January 2013. Posted in Press Releases

The OFT will be ceasing it Consumer Codes Approval Scheme from 1 April. As a result the OFT has withdrawn the right to use it's 'OFT Approved Code' logo from 31 March 2013.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is ceasing its Consumer Codes Approval Scheme from April 1.

TPO Expels Two County Durham Firms

Published on Friday, 14 December 2012. Posted in Press Releases

A County Durham lettings agency and an estate agency with the same sole director have been expelled from TPO for flagrant breaches of the Code of Practice and non-payment of the Ombudsman's award.

A County Durham lettings agency, and an estate agency with the same sole director, have been expelled from The Property Ombudsman Scheme (TPO) for a minimum of two years.

TPO Forum Drives New Lettings Industry Debate

Published on Tuesday, 27 November 2012. Posted in Press Releases

Organisations with varied interests in the English lettings industry, including some of the UK's major lettings agents, have met at The House of Lords to discuss improving industry standards.

The event was organised by Lord Richard Best, chairman of the independent council overseeing The Property Ombudsman, following the completion of a report 'Regulating Residential Letting Agents: The Issues and Options' which TPO commissioned from leading academic Professor Michael Ball, of Reading University.

Letting Agency That Kept Rent Money Expelled by Property Ombudsman

Published on Friday, 19 October 2012. Posted in Press Releases

A Bedford lettings agency that kept more than £2,000 rent money due to a landlord has been expelled from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme.

Town and Country Management Ltd (TCM), of 60, Harpur Street, Bedford, MK40 2QT, owned by Mr L La Mura and with an associate office in Ampthill, had been ordered by the Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, to pay £2,243.52 to a landlord.

Ready, Willing and Able?

Published on Monday, 01 October 2012. Posted in Press Releases

The Ombudsman's second Interim Report of 2012 is directed at the industry and specifically focuses on the commission-earning clauses used within estate agents' agency agreements.

Following The Property Ombudsman's renewed call for compulsory redress for letting agents in his Annual Report, his second Interim Report of 2012 is directed at the industry and specifically focuses on the commission-earning clauses used within estate agents' agency agreements.

Tandem Effort Supports Big Charity Bike Ride

Published on Monday, 30 July 2012. Posted in Press Releases

Tandem Effort Supports Big Charity Bike Ride

A national event by estate agents to help the homeless has been launched with the help of the Ombudsman and the Chairman of the Board.

The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, and Bill McClintock, chairman of the company that operates the ombudsman scheme, borrowed a tandem from Hayball Cyclesport in Winchester Street, Salisbury, so they could show joint support for a 3,000 mile charity bike ride around Britain.

TPO Canvasses Members over CMP

Published on Thursday, 14 June 2012. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman Scheme (TPO) is canvassing member firms over the provision of Client Money Protection (CMP) insurance.

'Whilst membership of TPO requires all residential sales and letting agents to abide by the TPO Codes of Practice, have Professional Indemnity Insurance, and agents holding clients' money to deposit this money in a separate clients account, it does not currently require residential letting agents to hold CMP,' explains Bill McClintock, chairman of the TPO operating company who is circulating a consultation document to members.

Letting Agent Support Still Rising for the Property Ombudsman

Published on Monday, 23 April 2012. Posted in Press Releases

Lettings agents across the UK are continuing to show their support for The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPO), with more than 300 offices joining this year to take the total past 9,000.

'The Government continues to ignore pleas for residential letting agents to be regulated in the same way as sales agents, which we believe would raise standards across the industry,' says Gerry Fitzjohn, chief operating officer of TPO.

Annual Report 2011 – Press Release

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in Press Releases

Letting agents, consumers and acceptable standards

Following another year which saw a further increase in letting complaints, The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, is renewing his call for standards to be raised across the lettings industry in his latest Annual Report.