Our final decision and compensation

If you support my complaint, what can you do?

If we support your complaint against one of our member agents, we can make them take action to put things right. For example, by giving a formal apology, changing their procedures or paying you compensation up to £25,000. (If we resolve a dispute for a different body – like a search provider – the compensation limit can vary. We will let you know the maximum amount relevant to the type of organisation when we receive your complaint.)

Amounts over £500 are not awarded very often – only when there is absolutely no doubt that an agent has caused you significant financial loss. Most compensation is less than £500 and we award it for any aggravation, distress or inconvenience the agent has caused you.

We cannot make agents pay penalties or take any legal or regulatory action against them. If an agent seriously breaks our code of practice, we can report them to our Compliance Committee, who will decide what action to take next.


What if I don’t agree with the final decision?

If you don’t agree with the final decision, you cannot appeal against it, as you would have already had the chance to represent when you received the proposed decision, but you can take your complaint to court or find another organisation who may be able to help. The agent can also take you to court to recover any fees you haven’t paid.


Can I use your review and findings in court?

Whether or not you accept the decision, we would not expect you to take your complaint to court or to a different organisation, however there are some exceptional circumstances where the review may be used in court.


What happens if I accept the compensation?

If you accept the final decision and compensation, you do it in full and final settlement of all the complaints against the agent we have formally reviewed.

When you accept, we will let the agent know and ask them to pay you within 28 days. If you would like a bank transfer, please give them your bank account details directly – for data protection reasons we cannot pass these on for you.

If there are outstanding fees or invoices you need to pay the agent, please pay them within 15 days of the date you accept the compensation. The agent does not have to pay until you have paid what you owe them. Or, if you prefer, the agent can deduct the compensation amount from their fees. So, if the compensation is more than what you owe them, they can pay you the rest or, if it’s lower, they can amend the amount you need to pay them.

When you have received the compensation, please let us know so we can update our records and close your case. Also, see “What if the agent is late or refuses to pay the compensation?” below.


How will the agent pay my compensation?

When you accept, we will let the agent know and ask them to pay you within 28 days. They may send a cheque, or if you would like a bank transfer, please give them your bank account details directly – for data protection reasons we cannot pass these on for you.

When you have received the compensation, please let us know so we can update our records and close your case. Also, see “What if the agent is late or refuses to pay the compensation?” below.

If there are outstanding fees or invoices you need to pay the agent, please pay them within 15 days of the date you accept the compensation. The agent does not have to pay until you have paid what you owe them. Or, if you prefer, the agent can deduct the compensation amount from their fees. So, if the compensation is more than what you owe them, they can pay you the rest or, if it’s lower, they can amend the amount you need to pay them.


What if the agent is late or refuses to pay the compensation?

If the agent is late paying, we will contact them to remind them they have to pay you. If they still haven’t paid within a week, we will write to tell them that if they don’t pay within the next week we will report them to the Compliance Committee of the Property Ombudsman Board who will decide what action to take.


Can I accept the compensation and still go to court?

If you accept the final decision and compensation, you do it in full and final settlement of all the complaints against the agent we have formally reviewed. So we would not expect you to take your complaint to court.