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Regulations (2008) (CPRs) for the property industry, which replaced the Property Misdescriptions Act after it was repealed in October 2013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 Report also includes a special 3-page CPR guidance document to assist letting agents1 in applying the CPRs while the industry awaits The Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) guidance, which is currently being consulted on and is expected to be issued in 2014.

Christopher Hamer, the Property Ombudsman, said:

'The case studies featured have been specially chosen to highlight a number of disputes that I have been asked to resolve. I felt it was important to share a selection of the cases that are especially relevant to The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations to help agents understand the implications of any misleading actions and omissions, and to ensure that consumers are protected from unfair commercial practices.'

The case studies featured in the report cover a broad range of topics to highlight-real life scenarios where agents have breached TPO's Code of Practice and an award has been given to support a consumer's complaint. The case studies are based on consumer complaints concerning:

  • Disclosure of building works
  • Residents parking and right of way
  • Disclosure of burglaries
  • Court possession order
  • Neighbouring development
  • Mineshaft
  • Property Title issues
  • Buy-to-let investment

View the 2013 Interim Report here.


[1] TPO Sales guidance for The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008) was issued by the Ombudsman in July 2013's Interim Report.