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.
A landlord made numerous complaints to The Property Ombudsman about the lack of communication by Property Solutions who had been instructed to let and manage his property. The complaints related largely to the agent’s failure to act promptly or provide evidence for charges for repairs or other works made. Property Solutions GB failed to cooperate with the Ombudsman’s investigation, providing no evidence to contradict the landlord’s claims. The Ombudsman awarded £2,767 in the landlord’s favour, comprising £2192 in charges made by the agent which the Ombudsman felt should be refunded and a further £575 in recognition of the avoidable and undue aggravation.
Property Solutions GB has neither responded nor paid the award. The Ombudsman referred the agent to the scheme’s independent Compliance Committee, which ruled the firm should be expelled from TPO and registration for redress. Property Solutions GB is not currently registered with a redress scheme, which is a requirement of every sales and letting agent in order to trade legally*.
Gerry Fitzjohn, Non-Executive Director and Chair of TPO’s Finance & Performance Committee: “As a member of TPO agents are obliged to comply with awards made by the Ombudsman, which Property Solutions GB has failed to do. Consumers should be aware that the company’s website still appears to be active with properties both ‘For Sale’ and ‘To Let’ advertised.”
*N.B. Every sales and lettings agent in England is required to register with a Government-approved redress scheme, which enables consumers to have their complaint reviewed independently in the event of a dispute arising that the consumer is unable to resolve with the agent directly.
An agreement between the two Government-approved redress schemes means Property Solutions GB will not be able to register for any form of redress until the award is paid. Redress registration is required for the agents to trade legally.