Letting agent expelled from TPO owing landlord £10k appears to be still trading

Letting agent expelled from TPO owing landlord £10k appears to be still trading

9:26 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago 10

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A letting agent operating in Stratford, East London, has been expelled from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) due to its failure to honour a compensatory award amounting to £10,264 to a landlord – but appears to be trading still.

The award came after a landlord lodged a formal complaint with TPO after a dispute involving the letting agent’s management of a property.

Despite indications of an inactive website, the continued offering of homes to rent by Hawks Properties Limited means they are trading illegally, and Trading Standards is now investigating.

Landlord asked Hawks Properties to let and manage a property

The dispute originated after a landlord asked Hawks Properties to let and manage a property who also opted for a higher management fee in exchange for a rental insurance package.

The property was subsequently rented to two tenants, but rent payments ceased after six months.

To recover losses, Hawks Properties made a claim on the rental insurance, which was ultimately denied by the insurance provider due to a procedural mistake made by the agency.

The tenants were evicted one year after their rent payments stopped.

After the tenants left, the property was found to be in a state of significant disrepair, with outstanding rent arrears of £12,000.

Ombudsman supported the landlord’s complaint over referencing

The Ombudsman supported the landlord’s complaint over referencing, and it was found that Hawks Properties was notified of the possibility that the tenants were not, in fact, a couple, but failed to investigate this.

This was important as the landlord only had a license to let to a single household.

The Ombudsman also supported a complaint about Hawks Properties’ handling of the insurance claim.

It was found to be fair, in the circumstances, for the agent to compensate the landlord on the basis that the claim had succeeded.

This was because the agent had admitted being at fault for the error which led to the claim being denied, and the agent did not provide signed terms of business limiting their liability in the event the claim was unsuccessful.

The Ombudsman made an award of £9,264.50 for financial loss, and £1,000 for aggravation distress and inconvenience, a total of £10,264.50 but Hawks Properties Limited failed to pay the award.

Should be excluded from The Property Ombudsman scheme

In a statement, TPO said: “Hawks Properties Limited was referred to the scheme’s independent Compliance Committee, which ruled that they should be excluded from The Property Ombudsman scheme.

“As part of TPO’s compliance process, notification of this expulsion has been shared with all relevant bodies, including both local and National Trading Standards for further investigation, as well as all property portals.

“The memorandum of understanding between TPO and the Property Redress Scheme prevents agents from registering with the other scheme until outstanding awards have been paid to consumers.”

The TPO adds that according to Companies House, the company is in liquidation.


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Shinh

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9:39 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

What is the full name and company reg no as I use a similar named company in East London ?
Or email it to me.

Happy housing

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10:23 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

Why did it take 1 year to evict the tenant such a long process.

Shinh

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10:27 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

This is the average eviction timeframes cited by most landlords eviction specialist companies.

I've a break down by city in a picture pitty I cannot upload it here.

Happy housing

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10:47 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

Where is the link please going through something similar need to know how long this will take as its costing me a fortune. Why don't they invent a law where if tenant is in arrears for so so months, need a quick process

Shinh

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10:51 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

We currently have an eviction case going to court and the cost to date is 29k and its taken 10 months so far with no possession order yet!

This 12 months old prior to interest rate rises....

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mortgage-and-landlord-possession-statistics-april-to-june-2022/mortgage-and-landlord-possession-statistics-april-to-june-2022#:~:text=The%20median%20average%20time%20from%20claim%20to%20landlord%20repossession%20has,tool%20can%20be%20found%20here.

Happy housing

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11:09 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Shinh at 10/08/2023 - 10:51
I'm so scared now, why is it 29k? Is your rent high or us it just taking longer?

Shinh

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11:10 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Happy housing at 10/08/2023 - 11:09
Rent is high and it's taking time
Do you have landlord insurance ?

Happy housing

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11:14 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

Yes but it did not kick in agent made a mistake.

Happy housing

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11:16 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

That graph tells me nothing

Ian Narbeth

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11:58 AM, 10th August 2023, About 12 months ago

The director of Hawks Properties Limited is a Mr Sarvjit Rai: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/09275722/officers who also controls the company.

This case raises some salutary lessons about insurance. First, check that your managing agent has adequate professional indemnity insurance.
Second, when filling in insurance proposals (e.g. for rent insurance) great care is needed. Making wrong statements or omitting material facts can invalidate a policy.
We don't have all the facts but it is suspicious that the landlord " opted for a higher management fee in exchange for a rental insurance package." I would want a stand alone policy which has an annual premium. I daresay the agent charged substantially more than the cost of the premium.

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