chris hamer

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    Latest property news

    Propertymark reveals its new chief – Tim Balcon

    After several months of revolving doors including the departure of David Cox and Chris Hamer, the trade association has appointed a non-property figure to be its CEO.

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  • Latest property news
    Latest property news

    Propertymark promises transparency over Christopher Hamer’s sudden departure

    Trade association is keen to keep a lid on bad publicity after its three key executives announce their departure within weeks of each other.

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  • Features
    Regulation & Law

    Letting a home that is For Sale

    Early warning? When do you tell the tenant that the landlord is selling the property? Chris Hamer, the Property Ombudsman, advises.

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  • Features
    Regulation & Law

    Landlord’s intention to sell obligations

    I have recently seen an increase in complaints by tenants alleging that the letting agent was aware of their landlord’s intention to sell the property but had neglected to make them aware of these intentions. Obviously, many tenants would not wish to rent a property if they knew that they may be faced with uncertainty as to a new owner’s plans. If faced with such a situation, an agent will appreciate that they need to ensure that they comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which places an obligation on them to disclose any material information to a consumer. If a landlord client tells an agent that they will be placing the property on the rental market but are also intending to sell, it would be sensible to advise them that a potential tenant must be told of the situation to allow the tenant to make an informed choice as to whether to proceed with a tenancy. Furthermore, the TPO Code of Practice obliges agents to ensure that, while their duty and obligations are to their client landlord, applicants and tenants are regarded as consumers and customers and are treated appropriately, which I consider encompasses an obligation to be treated fairly and in accordance with best practice, with the disclosure of all relevant information. ‘Many tenants would choose not to rent a home if it was up for sale.’…

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  • Features
    Regulation & Law

    Home sale free-for-all!

    Changes to the rules on selling homes could mean that buyers have little protection when using online intermediaries.

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  • Features
    Regulation & Law

    Protecting student deposits

    Anyone living in a university city will be aware of the yearly transition of first year students from halls of residence to privately rented accommodation for the remainder of their studies. Not surprisingly, my office receives an increased level of complaints from students and landlords several months after this transition occurs on the top of protecting student deposits. The current trend is for tenancies to be agreed months in advance of the start date, often with significant sums taken upfront to reserve properties, as students want to secure a property for the next academic year prior to their end of year exams. In the past, under the previous tenancy deposit protection arrangements, where a security deposit was taken, the agent had been able to retain these monies before registering them shortly after the commencement of the tenancy. However, the Localism Act, which came into force on 6 April, changed Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation and now the deposit holder has a 30 day period to register it with a tenancy deposit scheme and provide the prescribed information effective from the date those monies are received. This is an absolute time limit which allows the tenant to make a claim, if needed, 31 days after payment regardless of whether the requirements relating to deposit protection have been met. The penalties for not registering the deposit and providing the prescribed information can be severe; the…

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