Interim Report: December 2013

Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has issued his latest Interim Report for 2013, which includes:

  • The latest membership and consumer enquiry statistics
  • Consumer case studies for sales and lettings that were supported by the Ombudsman
  • The Ombudsman's views on;
    • The impact of new The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008) (CPRs) for the property industry, which replaced the Property Misdescriptions Act after it was repealed in October 2013
    • This year's ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that requires agents to disclose all non-optional fee charges to tenants with the rental figure in their media advertisements as of November 2013.

The Property Ombudsman launches the UK's first Code of Practice for Buying Agents

Published on Monday, 18 November 2013. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is launching a new Code of Practice to cater for the growing number of Buying Agents acting for consumers buying property in the UK.

TPO provides a free and impartial dispute resolution service for consumers and will be implementing The Buying Agent Code of Practice on 1st January 2014. The new Code has been designed to create a uniform set of standards for buying agents based in the UK to protect the interests of consumers and to promote best practice in the industry.

Ombudsman Christopher Hamer Responds to Yesterday's Dispatches Programme Aired on Channel 4:

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

Channel 4 Dispatches has raised an important matter. We were contacted by the filmmakers and stressed the point to them that too many consumers are unaware that these practices are illegal and therefore fail to complain.

The key issue at the heart of this matter is consumer education. We hope programmes such as these assist in raising awareness and educating consumers so they understand their rights and can identify when and how to complain.

 

TPO Expels London Agent

Published on Friday, 06 September 2013. Posted in Press Releases

Lexton Property Services failed to pay tenant and landlord awards upheld by the Ombudsman following several persistent breaches of TPO's Lettings Code of Practice.

Lexton Property Services, a former lettings agent, has been expelled and refused future membership from The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPO) for a minimum of three years following several serious breaches of its Code of Practice.

TPO Expels Agent for Failure to Pay Tenant Award

Published on Friday, 06 September 2013. Posted in Press Releases

London Rentals UK expelled from TPO full membership for two years following a serious breach of TPO's Code of Practice.

London Rentals UK has been refused renewal of its membership with The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPO) for two years following its failure to pay an award as directed by the Ombudsman following his review of a complaint.

Ombudsman Scheme Expels Yorkshire Estate Agency

Published on Thursday, 18 July 2013. Posted in Press Releases

WYL Ltd, a Yorkshire sales and lettings estate agency, has been expelled from membership of The Property Ombudsman scheme due to a failure to pay the Ombudsman's award and other breaches of the Code of Practice.

WYL Ltd, of 1 Russell Street, Keighley, BD21 2JU, had committed serious breaches of the TPO Lettings Code of Practice and failed to pay an award of £3,450 made against it by the Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer.

The Property Ombudsman Welcomes Government Support for a Code of Practice for Letting Agents

Published on Thursday, 18 July 2013. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) responds to new report published by the Communities and Local Government Committee on the Private Rental Sector published today

As the UK's largest property ombudsman scheme, with more than 22,000 sales and lettings branches registered, Ombudsman Christopher Hamer was invited to present evidence during the Select Committee's recent investigation into the Private Rental Sector.

The Property Ombudsman Reveals Why Client Money Protection Is a Necessity for the UK Lettings Market

Published on Monday, 15 July 2013. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has backed calls by its registered agents and the industry to make Client Money Protection (CMP) cover available to all UK lettings agents.

Up until this month, CMP cover was only available through a number of trade bodies. The introduction of two new CMP providers this month will enable letting agents that are not registered with a trade body to sign up for cover.

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.