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Three estate agencies expelled from The Property Ombudsman scheme

Businesses in Essex, Kent and North London have been expelled by The Property Ombudsman all for failing to pass on rent to landlords.

Sheila Manchester

Kingsman Property Limited, in Ilford, Essex, was expelled from The Property Ombudsman owing a landlord £14,921.

A landlord made a complaint to The Property Ombudsman claiming that the agent failed to pass on rent owed to him, which had been paid by the tenant.

The landlord had entered into a Guaranteed Rental Income Scheme with Kingsman Property, to ensure that the landlord received the rent every month and Kingsman confirmed that they would obtain an HMO licence. The landlord received the rent for eight months, but it then stopped and the landlord dis-instructed them. They owed the landlord £12,000 in rent.

The agent went into administration and TPO made an award of £14,921.23, for unpaid rent, the deposit and £1,500 for the aggravation and distress.

Kingsman Property failed to pay the award and was expelled from TPO.

In Strood, Kent, Chambers Estates Kent Ltd was expelled after a landlord reported that they owed him three months’ rent – paid by the tenant but not passed on.

The agent did not respond to this, or to a solicitor’s letter. The Ombudsman supported the complaint and awarded the landlord £2,376 for rent due and £400 for connected aggravation and complaint handling failures.

Chambers Estates failed to pay the award and The Ombudsman referred the agent to the scheme’s independent Compliance Committee, which ruled the firm should be expelled from The Property Ombudsman scheme.

In Winchmore Hill, North London – Assetgrove Prime Sales & Lettings Ltd., trading as Assetgrove Prime, which owed a landlord £1,820.50.

A landlord made a complaint to The Property Ombudsman, claiming that the agent failed to pass on the last month’s rent and failed to compensate him for a new cooker, which was missing at the end of the tenancy.

The landlord raised the issue with Assetgrove Prime, but the employee he dealt with stopped responding and the agent denied that the tenancy was anything to do with them and the employee worked for another agency.

The absence of an inventory meant the issue with the cooker was difficult to prove, however, it was clear that the landlord was owed 25 days rent. The Ombudsman made an award of £1,820.50.

Assetgrove Prime failed to pay the award and they too, were expelled.

Gerry Fitzjohn TPOGerry Fitzjohn, Non-Executive Director and Chairman of TPO’s Finance Committee (left): “As a member of TPO, agents are obliged to comply with awards made by the Ombudsman, which Assetgrove Prime has failed to do.

 

October 24, 2019

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