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The Property Ombudsman


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The Property Ombudsman is the consumers resource for complaints against member estate agents and letting agents in the UK. They will deal with matters relating to their members who offer services that cover selling property, renting property,commercial property and overseas property. The property Ombudsman came into being on 1 May 2009 and was formerly, the Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OEA)


Making a complaint about an estate agent?
Before you refer your complaint to TPO please ensure that:
  • The firm is registered with TPO. Please check the find a member section
  • You have written to the firm setting out your complaint
  • The firm should investigate your complaint within eight weeks. If eight weeks have passed and your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction you may refer your dispute to us
  • If the firm has written to you explaining that they have completed their investigations or you have exhausted their internal complaints procedure, you may now refer your complaint to us

Once you have completed this checklist, please complete and sign the Complaints Form and send this together with copies of any supporting documentation.

The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice 
 
 
All estate agents are required to register with an Estate Agents Redress Scheme that has been approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and which investigates complaints against estate agents. The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is one of the schemes approved by the OFT.


Download
Available to download: Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents.

Increasing Consumer Confidence

By dealing with a Member of the The Property Ombudsman the body wants to ensure that the public should feel confident about the estate agent’s professionalism.

With effect from 1 October 2008, all estate agents are required to register with an Estate Agents Redress Scheme that has been approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and which investigates complaints against estate agents. The TPO is one of the schemes approved by the OFT. 

Many estate agents have in addition agreed to follow the TPO Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents, approved by the OFT under its Consumer Codes Approval Scheme. Estate agents signing up to this Code of Practice are required to provide additional consumer protection that goes beyond that required by the law. They can be recognised by the joint TPO/OFT approved code logos which they display. Registered agents, who do not voluntarily accept the Code of Practice obligations of the OEA Scheme, are not entitled to show the OFT approved code logo.#

The Property Ombudsman provides a free service for dealing with unresolved disputes between sales and letting agents who have joined the TPO and consumers who are actual or potential buyers or sellers or landlords or tenants of residential property in the UK. 

The Ombudsman’s role is to reach a resolution of unresolved disputes in full and final settlement and, where appropriate, he will make an appropriate award of financial compensation or other action for example make an apology. 

A Consumer Guide, available in the offices of all sales and letting’s agents who have joined the TPO, informs complainants that:

Dealing with complaints about member estate agents

‘Your complaint may be considered by the Ombudsman, if you believe that the agent has:

  • infringed your legal rights;
  • failed to follow the rules and obligations set for agents under any code of practice to which they may subscribe;
  • treated you unfairly;
  • been guilty of mal administration (including inefficiency or undue delay) 
  • in a way that results in you losing money or suffering avoidable aggravation, distress and/or inconvenience.’


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