Redress scheme The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has expelled or extended the expulsion of six rogue estate agents from its scheme today, only the second time such an exodus has been revealed over the past two years.
The agents are The Lettings Shop in West Bromwich, House Sales and Lettings in Liverpool, Property Solutions GB in Manchester, Oscar Jones Residential in London and Harper Brooks in Manchester and London. Bower and Bower in Exeter has been expelled for a further two years.
All six rogue estate agents were expelled after failing to pay sums awarded to clients following a complaint. TPO has now expelled 40 members since March 2016.
The worst offender among the latest six is Camborne Properties Limited, which trades as Harper Brooks, and which has been booted out of TPO for ten years.
The redress scheme says it received over 100 complaints from mainly Asian leaseholders over the guaranteed five-year rent management agreements they had signed with the agency.
Harper Brooks only met a few if any of the contractual quarterly rental payments to many leaseholders.
TPO supported one of these complaints over missing rent and directed Harper Brooks to pay £9,900 in back rent plus additional payments for aggravation, distress and inconvenience.
The redress scheme subsequently looked at the remaining complaints about Harper Brooks and made an additional award of £431,715 of which £419,079 was unpaid rent.
Camborne Properties Limited, which has a registered office in London but operates mainly in Manchester from an address in Didsbury (pictured above), is late filing its accounts due in December 2017 and is currently showing as ‘in liquidation’ on the Companies House website.
It is not the first time Harper Brooks has been in trouble. A complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Authority in 2016 about an inaccurate online advert posted by the company for a property in the city. The complaint was upheld.