Demand for The Property Ombudsman (TPO) services continues to rise

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has today released its 2017 annual report.

Property Ombudsman Katrine Sporle confirms the number of complaints received rose by 3% to 3,658.  TPO made financial awards to consumers in 2,408 instances which totalled £1.36 million, an increase of 11% on the previous year.

The report reveals the top causes of sales and lettings complaints, results from TPO’s consumer survey review, a snapshot of regional events attended by TPO, as well as data concerning disciplinary cases and agent expulsions. The annual report also provides reflections from the TPO Board and Council.

In addition to the level of complaints, the Annual Report highlights:

  • A 68% increase in consumer enquiries, following the introduction of an “open all hours” online service with Yomdel.  6,458 online chats led to 946 new complaints being received.
  • The Customer Service team helped 14,671 people with their enquiries, either by signposting them to the right organisation or giving immediate advice on how to raise complaints direct with their service provider.

Lettings statistical highlights:

  • 2,212 formal complaints were resolved (11% more than 2016)
  • 67% of complaints were supported by the Ombudsman
  • 49% of complaints were made by landlords, while 45% were made by tenants
  • The average lettings award was £625
  • For the second year running, the regions with the highest volume of complaints were Greater London (23%), the South East (20%) and North West (11%)
  • The top causes of complaints were: (1) management, (2) communication & record keeping, (3) tenancy agreements, inventories and deposits and (4) in-house complaints procedure

Sales statistical highlights:

  • 1,098 formal complaints were resolved (16% fewer than 2016)
  • 62% of complaints were supported by the Ombudsman
  • 60% of complaints were made by sellers, while 34% were made by buyers
  • The average sales award was £532
  • The regions with the highest volume of complaints were the South East (23%) and Greater London (14%) following by North West and South West (both 10%)
  • The top causes of complaints were: (1) communication & record keeping, (2) marketing & advertising, (3) instructions/terms of business/commission/termination and (4) inhouse complaints handling

Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman, said:

Our primary focus has always been on providing expert advice and quality outcomes. Our early advice plays a key role in empowering consumers by equipping them with information so they can try and resolve the issue directly with their agent.  Our Early Resolution approach seeks to resolve straightforward disputes quickly and our Adjudication Service is wholly focused on fair and reasonable outcomes.  TPO takes a continuous improvement approach to the services we provide, enabling us to meet the needs of consumers more efficiently, and to raise standards in the industry through information, education and advice on systemic issues arising in what is a dynamic industry.

With 38,272 offices and departments now following our Codes of Practice, approved by Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), I think it is encouraging that complaints have risen by just 3% and that 10% fewer agents had to be referred to our Disciplinary and Standards Committee.

We agree with Government that there are gaps in the current provisions of consumer redress within the property sector which need addressing and, together with industry and consumer partners, we are keen to play our part in regulation and redress reform.

Overall, 2017 represented a positive year of innovation and improvement, which will reassure consumers and the industry that there is an alternative to costly and lengthy court proceedings that can be relied on to provide timely, fair and reasonable remedies.”

Industry case studies

TPO has over 27 years’ experience advising consumers who contact the scheme when they have exhausted an organisation’s internal complaint’s process, but want an alternative to avoid the expense and time taken by going to court.  The annual report provides some example case summaries highlighting the varied and complex cases reviewed by the Ombudsman.  Topics include a dual fee dispute, insufficient tenant referencing, agent obligations under CPRs and more.

The full report is available in an e-book and all case summaries are available on the TPO website.

Shared by: Helen Evison –

EAN Content

Content shared by this account is either news shared free by third parties or sponsored (paid for) content from third parties. Please be advised that links to third party websites are not endorsed by Estate Agent Networking - Please do your own research before committing to any third party business promoted on our website.

You May Also Enjoy

Breaking News

Breaking Property News – 24/04/24

Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.   Smart Spaces delivers the world’s first implementation of HID’s mobile credentials in Google Wallet at Workspace Mobile access control integration makes entry to The Light Bulb building effortless for customers London, April 23, 2024 – Smart Spaces announces today that it has partnered with trusted identity provider,…
Read More
Love or Hate Rightmove
Breaking News

An average rate of 6% for the first time since November – Rightmove’s weekly mortgage tracker

Headlines The average 5-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.89%, up from 4.45% a year ago The average 2-year fixed mortgage rate is now 5.29%, up from 4.75% a year ago The average 85% LTV 5-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.82%, up from 4.42% a year ago The average 60% LTV 5-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.36%, up from 4.15% a year ago The average monthly mortgage payment on…
Read More
Property for sale
Estate Agent Talk

Understanding Property Valuation: A Simple Guide

Ever asked your self, “How a amazing deal is my house simply simply well worth?” Whether you’re thinking of promoting, thinking of searching for, or just simple curious, identifying a property’s rate can experience like navigating a maze without a map. Yet, do not agonize. This sincere guide will stroll you via the necessities of…
Read More
Love or Hate Rightmove
Breaking News

Aberdeen is cheapest city to be a first-time buyer

New analysis reveals that Aberdeen is the cheapest city to be a first-time buyer with an average asking price of £102,602: The average monthly mortgage payment for a first-time buyer in Aberdeen is £406 per month, assuming the buyer has a 20% deposit, and a mortgage term of 35 years Data from UK Finance shows…
Read More
Breaking News

Breaking Property News – 23/04/24

Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.   Agents urged to review AML policies following recent HMRC fines Recent substantial fines issued by HMRC are a harsh reminder to agents to ensure that their Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies are up to date, and they have control testing in place. This is according…
Read More
Breaking News

Spring activity boost pushes asking prices close to new record

The average asking price of property coming to the market rises by 1.1% (+£4,207) this month to £372,324, just £570 short of the record in May 2023, while the annual rate of price growth is now +1.7%, the highest level for 12 months: A key factor behind this growth towards a near-record average price is…
Read More