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There have been recent articles in Property118 from readers regarding lack of support for landlord complaints against agents. However, The Property Ombudsman (TPO) redress scheme have expelled three agents for two or more years for failing to pay complaint compensation awarded to landlords by the TPO.
The three companies expelled were Blackhorse Property Management Limited in Bradford, Shields and Co. in Nottinghamshire and Liverpool based LPC Lettings Limited. The complaints included a total of £11,000 rent that had not been paid to landlords and were made by tenants, a vendor and landlords.
TPO and other redress scheme members must to comply with Ombudsman decisions that have been accepted by the complainants.
Sheilds and Co. were found to owe a landlord £2,657.15 in rental payments and were fined a further £500 for significant aggravation.
LPC Lettings were found to owe a landlord £5,967.54 and were also fined for aggravation an additional £600.
None of the above had separate client accounts in which to hold rental income for landlords.
Blackhorse Property Management Limited was expelled from sales and lettings redress membership for a minimum of three years for a lack of tenant referencing with an awarded penalty of £350 and a separate £300 award to a seller for lack of contract transparency and potential loss of viewings.
None of the three redress schemes will register the above companies again until the penalties and awards are paid in full. Membership of a redress scheme is compulsory to legally trade as an agent.
Chairman of the TPO board, Gerry Fitzjohn, said “wherever possible, we will always facilitate early resolutions between agents and consumers. “However, agents that do not cooperate with our investigations, as in these cases, put themselves at greater risk of having a complaint upheld, as the Ombudsman only has the consumer’s evidence to consider.”
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