The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has revealed the latest estate agencies to be expelled from its scheme for failing to pay compensation to landlords who complained about them.
These are Saville Park Ltd in Slough, Sun Properties in Leicester and Property Dragon in Porth, Wales.
TPO say two of the agencies involved appear to have continued trading following their expulsion under new or similar names.
The ombudsman says it understands that The Property Dragon Limited has already ceased trading before the award and had been dissolved and removed from Companies House, but is now operating again under a new name.
The Property Dragon Limited failed to pay a landlord £1,180 in compensation after the firm’s management of a property failed to reach minimum standards set out in TPO’s Code of Practice.
Sun Properties in Leicester, which was told to pay £3,220 in compensation after it carried out ‘recklessly’ inadequate referencing on a tenant and used a deposit to clear rent arrears.
The tenant stopped paying the rent soon after taking up the tenancy and caused damage to the property totalling £500.
Sun Properties’ appears not to be trading but instead, TPO warns, is likely to have ‘phoenixed’ under a new name.
Gerry Fitzjohn (pictured, main image), Non-Executive Director and Chairman of TPO’s Finance Committee says: “As a member of TPO, agents are obliged to comply with awards made by the Ombudsman, which Sun Properties Leicester failed to do.
“There were several fallings on the part of the agent from the outset of this tenancy and the complainants should have received an award to compensate for this.
“Whilst this is extremely frustrating for these landlords, we would highlight the point that of the thousands of awards made by TPO in consumers’ favour every year, less than 2% go unpaid.
“Most agents will fulfil their obligation to pay an award made by TPO.”
Saville Park Ltd in Slough has been expelled after tenants complained about a range of failures including stalled repairs and maintenance, the poor provision of documentation, inadequate end of tenancy procedures and complaints handling.