Five more agents have been excluded from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme for failing to pay compensation awards.
The news follows the exclusion of Ewemove in Wokingham, revealed by The Negotiator on Friday.
The five agents are:
- Ivory and Hatton, a sales and lettings agent in Canary Wharf, London. TPO found that two rent payments had been retained instead of being transferred to the landlord. The complaint was supported with an award made for the rent owed and avoidable aggravation, totalling nearly £4,500. Despite contact details for Ivory and Hatton not working, its website is still active and displaying properties for sale and rent.
- Elite Property Management and Lettings, a sales and lettings agent in Liverpool. This agent failed to pay two outstanding awards, one of which was more than £9,000 after funds were withheld from the landlord. TPO says it doesn’t believe the company is still trading. There is no online presence and listings on portals have been removed.
- Easy Lettings, a sales and letting agent in Finchley, London. A landlord lodged a complaint when she struggled to get back control of one of her flats due to a binding contract that the agent had failed to bring to her attention. TPO made an award of £1,000. There is no evidence to suggest that Easy Lettings Ltd is still trading.
- LS Lettings and Sales, a sales and lettings agent in Portsmouth. This agent has been excluded for the non-payment of a £550 award for the incorrect handling of a tenant’s deposit. No online presence has been found for LS Lettings and Sales, and Google Street View suggests the branch is closed and available to rent.
- Shepherds Place Property, a buying agent in Blackburn. In a complaint against Shepherds Place Property, TPO found that properties identified did not meet the investors’ criteria and a clause in the buying agreement that allowed a deposit to be retained was not made clear. This resulted in a £3,000 award being made. TPO is unable to verify if this agent is still trading.
In a statement, TPO said: “All agents failed to pay awards made and were referred to the scheme’s independent Compliance Committee, which ruled that they should be excluded from The Property Ombudsman scheme.
“However, it’s important to reiterate that of the 2,473 financial awards made to consumers in 2020, 2,433 were paid – 98% of Ombudsman awards are complied with by agents demonstrating TPO’s effectiveness in ensuring consumers continue to receive appropriate redress.
“As part of TPO’s process, notification of these expulsions have been shared with all relevant bodies, including both Local and National Trading Standards for further investigation.”