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Estate agents expelled by ombudsman for failing to pay £100k compensation

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Written by: John Fitzsimons
05/06/2019
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has expelled seven estate and letting agents, after they refused to pay redress awarded by the Ombudsman.
Estate agents expelled by ombudsman for failing to pay £100k compensation

In total, compensation of more than £112,000 was owed by the firms, which according to TPO appear to have all stopped trading.Each complaint against an agent was related to lettings failings, with most of the firms involved in multiple complaint cases.

The owed amounts range from more than £62,000 from Berkshire Estates, down to just £250 from Lang and Ward.

Agents are required to comply with any award or direction ordered by the ombudsman and accepted by claimants. All complaints were independently reviewed and upheld.

As a result of being expelled, none of the agents are now registered with a redress scheme, which all sales and letting agents are legally required to do in order to trade.

TPO noted that none of the agents hold any professional memberships, while most do not have active websites or advertise on any property portals. The exception is Abbey Properties, which owes £400, and has subsequently been reported to Trading Standards.

Gerry Fitzjohn, non-executive director and chairman of the TPO’s finance committee, noted that cases like these were rare, with 97 per cent of agents last year paying the sums awarded by the ombudsman.

He continued: “Agents must comply with any award and/or direction made by The Ombudsman against them and pay the complainant the amount of any such award within the required period for payment. Cases of non-compliance are taken very seriously and are dealt with by our Compliance Committee and/or Trading Standards.”

The banned agents, and outstanding awards, are:

  • Nextmove – £3,256.80
  • Marques Residential Limited – £17,775
  • Lang and Ward – £250
  • William Huxley – £6,583
  • TM Estates Limited – £23,700
  • Abbey Properties – £400
  • Berkshire Estates – £60,292.24

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