The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has made further expulsions after six agents failed to comply with parts of the TPO Codes of Practice and pay subsequent awards made by the Ombudsman.
Some appear to have ceased trading, others have re-opened trading under the same name but with different directors. All the complaints against the agents were in relation to lettings work.
Although awards made by the Ombudsman in 2018 were paid by agents to consumers in 97% of cases, TPO is reminding agents that their agreement with the Property Redress Scheme, means that not only will expelled agents not be able to register for any form of redress, but any new company set up by the same directors will not be accepted for redress membership, until the Ombudsman’s award is paid.
Expelled agents and outstanding awards
- Citi Places Management Ltd. (trading as Citi Places Management) East London
Unpaid award of £3,400 (active website but no properties advertised)
- Elite Properties Essex Ltd. (trading as Elite Properties) Grays, Essex
Unpaid award of £200 (appears to have ceased trading)
- PM Premier Ltd. (trading as PM Premier Ltd) Redhill, North Somerset
Unpaid award of £500 (The same directors have set up a new company, The Letting Station, but appear not to be registered for redress and have been referred to Trading Standards)
- CE Property Ltd. (trading from Bitterne Precinct as Charles Carr), based in Southampton
Unpaid award of £350 (A new company trading under the same name but with no connected directors is trading from the same address and registered for redress with PRS)
- Madox Estates Ltd. (trading as Madox), based in West Kensington, London
Unpaid award of £5,269 (Appears to have ceased trading with no active website)
A sixth company was awarded £5000 against it, but The Negotiator is withholding the name to avoid confusion with another company with a very similar name, at their request.
Gerry Fitzjohn, Non-Executive Director and Chairman of TPO’s Finance Committee, said, “In the few cases where awards remain unpaid, agents are referred to the TPO Compliance Committee, which has the power to expel agents from the scheme.
If TPO becomes aware that an agent under investigation has ceased trading, complainants are promptly informed and, where an award is made, are provided with the necessary documentation to make a claim against that company.”
At 31st December 2018 over 15,897 sales offices and 14,746 letting offices were registered with TPO.