Quarterly Case Summaries - Q3 2023

Published on Friday, 13 October 2023. Posted in Press Releases

In order to help agents better understand how the Ombudsman comes to decisions over complaints, we now issue a quarterly case summary review, giving you the opportunity to see examples of real complaints, how they were reviewed, as well as the outcome. These are a collection of case summaries which have been published in the trade press over the last quarter.

Remember, if there are any specific topics you would like us to cover, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with CASE SUMMARY TOPIC in the subject, and we will endeavour to cover these in future examples

Rightmove Webinar with The Ombudsman 

On Wednesday, 18 October, Rebecca Marsh, The Property Ombudsman and Gemma Adams, Head of Dispute Resolution, will join Rightmove’s Lisa Gray to share topical case studies using real-life agent examples covering topics such as alternative deposits, dual commission fees and service charges

Find out more information here



Seller complaint regarding communication of a quick sale agent

A case that The Property Ombudsman (TPO) was asked to investigate came from a seller against a quick sale agent and related to their communication and approach to the purchase of her property.

The seller said that the agent had confirmed that they were the buyer but she believed this was false. She also said that they advised they would offer 80% of the market value, which she was willing to accept as she required a quick sale. However, there were delays in the agent presenting their market valuations and when they eventually did it was £30,000 below her expectations, which meant their offer would be significantly below her requirements.



Leaseholders’ complaint regarding legal fees to settle a dispute

A case that The Property Ombudsman (TPO) was asked to review came from leaseholders against an estate and management company over who were responsible for £1,020 in legal fees. 

The leaseholders were seeking a refund of the £1,020 in legal fees to resolve the dispute, as they considered that the estate and management company had failed to correctly interpret the details of the residents’ voting rights, and as such were responsible for the disputed fees. 



Tenant complaint regarding EPC rating of a property 

A case that The Property Ombudsman (TPO) was asked to review came from a tenant against a letting agent in relation to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) for the property. 

The property was let to the tenant under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) for a period of twelve months, for a monthly rent of £3,500. 

The tenant’s complaint form stated that the EPC gave the property an EPC rating of F, which she says was out of date and the property was actually G at the point it was let.



Dual fee deception or dilemma 

The seller instructed Agent 1 to market the property on a sole selling rights basis. This was a fixed price agreement, which also granted Agent 1 the option to purchase the property at a fixed price of £125,000 for a period of 16 weeks (the option period). Agent 1 would then resell the property to a third-party buyer, retaining the price difference in lieu of a traditional commission fee arrangement. 

When Agent 1 began marketing the property it became apparent that the tenant would not permit access to allow viewings to take place. No viewings took place with Agent 1, yet they maintained that the eventual buyers requested a viewing and so argued it demonstrated that their marketing introduced the buyers to the property.