A UK Ombudsman received a record number of complaints against property agents last year.
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) announced it saw a record number of complaints against agents in 2013.
The body received 16,358 complaints – up 23% from 2012 – though only 2,151 went on to mediation or formal review. TPO is the largest Ombudsman service in the UK, providing an independent resolution service.
Lettings complaints made up the lion’s share of gripes at 60%. Landlords and tenants made around an even number of complaints, which were usually based on communication failure, duty of care and reports and maintenance.
30% of grievances came from sales, with sellers making 67% of the complaints and buyers making 28%. Again, communication failure and duty of care were the worst offenders – but fees and charges (11%) and sales details/advertising (10%) also made an appearance.
The cases that made it through to further action included embellishing the features of a property, unclear service charges and buyers feeling pressured into using an agent’s partner/associate services.