Two companies expelled from the Property Ombudsman Scheme

Two companies expelled from the Property Ombudsman Scheme

0:02 AM, 14th December 2023, About 6 months ago

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The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has expelled two companies for failing to pay compensation to consumers.

This year, 13 companies have been expelled from the scheme, down from 18 last year.

Now the TPO’s Compliance Committee has ruled that the London-based Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors and Monsoon Properties should be excluded from the scheme.

‘Encouraging to see a decrease in the number of agents being referred’

Rebecca Marsh, The Property Ombudsman, said: “It is encouraging to see a decrease in the number of agents being referred to the Compliance Committee.

“This demonstrates our ongoing effectiveness in ensuring that nearly all consumers encountering issues receive the redress they deserve.”

She added: “As part of TPO’s compliance process, notification of these expulsions has been shared with all relevant bodies, including both local and national Trading Standards for further investigation, as well as all property portals.”

Monsoon Properties Ltd (London N15)

Monsoon Properties Ltd (London N15) was awarded £2,000 by the TPO after it failed to return vacant possession of a property to a landlord at the end of a guaranteed rent agreement, as requested.

The landlord was left with a tenant in situ, paying below market rate, who stayed more than 14 months beyond the end of the fixed term of the agreement.

Monsoon Properties had not issued possession proceedings that were expressly referred to in their Terms of Business.

The company set up a payment plan to the landlord, but only two of the eight instalments were made.

It is believed that Monsoon Properties is no longer trading as there is no online presence nor a trading address.

Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors (Kingston Upon Thames, KT1)

Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors (Kingston Upon Thames, KT1) was supported by the TPO on five issues raised by a consumer who had instructed a survey on a property they were purchasing.

The TPO awarded the cost of the survey back to the complainant by making an award of £890.

The Ombudsman found the survey report presented several significant issues, including the surveyor neglected to assign condition ratings to individual elements.

That left their opinions on the condition of each element unclear.

Additionally, Prinsegate consistently recommended further inspections without providing any justification for these.

Surveyor’s report caused unnecessary confusion

The surveyor’s report also caused unnecessary confusion by inconsistently describing windows as timber framed and referring to them later as metal-lined, without clarifying the full construction details.

The TPO also said the inclusion of costings for injecting a damp-proof course, despite it being an unviable option for a listed property, indicated a lack of awareness on the surveyor’s part.

Also, Prinsegate failed to explain the difference in costings for the installation of a fire break – one email stated this would cost £2,000 but the costing report said it would be £30,000.

The TPO believes that Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors may still be trading despite failing to communicate with them for its investigation.


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