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Estate agency reported to Ombudsman and Trading Standards over unprotected deposit and late rent payments

Landlord says she is disappointed that light industry regulation means agents who fail in their responsibilities or break the law are allowed to continue trading unchecked.

Nigel Lewis

 

ESTATE AGENCY

An estate agency in Buckinghamshire who has been censured by The Property Ombudsman (TPO) in the past is facing further complaints.

Purfect Properties has been reported to TPO over a rented house in Aylesbury which its landlords say rent has been passed to her very late and only after continual chasing.

The estate agency has also been referred to Trading Standards after it was discovered that the tenant’s deposit has not been lodged with an authorised protection scheme 18 months after the tenancy began.

This case highlights the pressing need for industry regulation proposed by ROPA and how the existing regime is unable to curtail the worst elements of the industry.

Purfect Properties in Aylesbury was censured by TPO in 2017 after failing to provide information about a case to the ombudsman following a complaint by a landlord over an unresolved dispute. TPO adjudicated in favour of the landlord and Purfect Properties paid the award.

Another complaint

But another landlord has contacted The Negotiator to complain about Purfect Properties and its sole director Derek Hall. Karen Flynn, who rents a house to a family in the town for £885 a month via the agency, has been trying to get out of her contract with Purfect for several months.

This follows multiple runs-ins including arguments over late payments of rent and other issues but the most serious problem she has discovered is that her tenant’s £1,750 deposit has not been lodged with an approved protection scheme.

The Negotiator has checked all three schemes and can find no record of the deposit being protected.

Payments

“For the past 18 months I’ve relied on Purfect Properties to look after my house and pass on the rent to me but it often takes multiple calls and hours of chasing to get the payments,” she says.

Flynn recently sent Hall several letters asking for a response to her complaints. In them she accuses Purfect Properties of failing to renew her tenant’s rental contract after it lapsed in December and not inspecting the property.

These points were all put to Derek Hall on Friday by The Negotiator but to date he has not replied.

TPO told The Negotiator that it has received Flynn’s complaint and is waiting for the statutory eight-week period to pass during which Purfect Properties must respond before it takes action.

Purfect Properties’ annual company accounts are overdue by five weeks and the agency has a rating on AllAgents of 2.9 stars out of five and a mixed bag of reviews from five-star and adulatory to one-star and extremely scathing.

February 10, 2020

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