Thursday, July 02, 2009

Take your complaint to the Property Ombudsman

Note - the Landlord Law Blog has now moved to


I stumbled upon this excellent article on the BBC website today, which is by the Property Ombudsman about his service in respect of letting agents. Due to the problems in the property market, many agents are now turning to lettings and, if they are unfamiliar with this area of work, their customers may have some cause to complain about them. The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is one person they can complain to.

Not all agents are members of the TPO scheme. However you can identify those who are as they will normally display the TPO logo.

Members of the TPO scheme are required to abide by a code of conduct which you can find on the TPO website, and the TPO can award compensation of up to £25,000 in any one case. Alternatively if the complainant is unhappy about the TPOs decision he can still go to the courts.

It is worth looking out for the logo when choosing an agent, either as a landlord or as a tenant, and it is good to know that there is an alternative method of complaint about rogue agents. Since October 2008 all estate agents are required to be registered with an approved redress scheme such as TPO (and can be fined by Trading Standards officers if they are not) although this is not the case with agents who only do lettings. However as always, the worst problems are likely to be with the agents who are not registered.

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1 comment:

Scoot said...

Hi Tessa

Is this similar to the OEA? Our letting agent is being really awkward...
After a horrible 6 months with a horrible landlord - FINALLY - the landlord agreed to give us our deposit back.

That was it we thought...unfortunately not...

The letting agent said that they would not return the deposit in 10 days as per says they should - but within 4 weeks of the moving out date as per statute law.

They then claimed we hadn't told them the date we moved out - even though at the very least the landlords had emailed them about a week after this date to confirm we should get our whole deposit back.

We moved out on 19th May and still they are avoiding paying us our deposit. They confirmed on the 16th of June that they would pay us in 10 days as that's when we reconfirmed the move out date of the 19th - and that should have been the 26th July...but still no cheque...

Now we have rang up - and they are saying the agency owner is on holiday and the accounts department are closed til Tuesday...

They are completely unscrupulous and rude - but there seems little we can do :( I've already got high blood pressure down to the stress of the last 6 months and can't cope with all this chasing!! Why - if they protected our deposit - wont they return the deposit as the landlord has instructed them to! :(