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.
BLP Property Management, of 43, High Street, Spennymoor, DL16 6BB, was expelled by the TPO Disciplinary and Standards Committee (DSC) for failing to pay an award of £500 made against it by the Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer.
The DSC determined that BLP had committed flagrant breaches of the TPO Lettings Code of Practice after BLP first failed a landlord by not carefully referencing tenants and then not cooperating with the Ombudsman's investigation after the landlord complained. It also then ignored the award of £500 made against it by Mr Hamer.
'Lettings agents who cannot be bothered to comply with our Code of Practice when they have committed to support it have no place within our scheme,' explained Gerry Fitzjohn, chief operating officer of TPO.
'As BLP and Martin Currington Estate Agents (MCEA) have the same sole director in Mr T Langdale and operate from the same premises, MCEA has also been expelled from membership of TPO for at least two years to avoid any risk of consumer confusion.
'This means neither firm will appear on TPO's member database for either sales or lettings although we are compelled by the Office of Fair Trading to offer Martin Currington Estate Agents registration with our scheme under the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act, which is a far less of a commitment to high standards than full TPO membership.
'Landlords and tenants should be aware that they will no longer be able to refer matters to the Ombudsman if they feel they have been badly treated by BLP. They are therefore at a serious disadvantage.
'We have informed local Trading Standards officers of the expulsions and neither firm must make any mention of TPO to promote their businesses.'