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Three agencies must stop trading after failing to compensate landlords

Three lettings agencies have been expelled for The Property Ombudsman for failing to pay compensation to landlords.

And as they are now also banned from joining any redress scheme, they cannot operate as letting agents in future.

Sun Properties Leicester has been excluded from The Property Ombudsman for failing to pay an outstanding award of £3,220.14. 

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This followed TPO receiving a complaint from landlords regarding referencing checks carried out by Sun Properties Leicester on their tenant. The landlords also said that the agent had used the tenant's deposit for rent arrears when the tenant failed to pay rent. 

Upon request from The Property Ombudsman, Sun Properties Leicester failed to provide a case file which members of TPO are obligated to do if a complaint is made about them, although there was evidence of some letters from the agent to the complainants. 

A statement from TPO says: “The Ombudsman found that the agent's referencing checks were reckless. They had failed to carry out even basic checks on the tenant and had only obtained one landlord reference. There had also been insufficient checks on the tenant’s guarantor, and consequently the tenant failed to pay rent shortly after taking up the tenancy.”

And a lettings agent in Slough, Saville Park Ltd, has been excluded from The Property Ombudsman for failing to pay an outstanding award of £300. 

TPO received a complaint from tenants relating to repairs and maintenance of their rental property, the provision of documentation, the end of tenancy procedures, provision of the landlord's details and complaints handling. 

Ombudsman Rebecca Marsh was not satisfied that Saville Park Ltd had met its obligations under paragraph 14b of the 2016 Lettings Code as she could not determine what actions the agent had taken when the tenants reported issues or that the agent had kept them updated. 

The Ombudsman was also unable to determine that the agent had provided statutory documentation prior to the start of the tenancy, was critical that the agent had not clarified the end of tenancy procedures as required and had not responded to the tenants’ complaint. 

Saville Park Ltd was also criticised for not responding to a formal request for the landlord's details which it should have done by law, and did not explain that the tenants were not entitled to this once the tenancy had ended. 

The Ombudsman considered that the issues raised had caused the tenants some avoidable aggravation and the complaint was supported with an award of £300. 

Saville Park Ltd failed to pay the award made and the Ombudsman referred them to the scheme’s independent Compliance Committee, which ruled that they should be excluded from The Property Ombudsman scheme. 

 

The third agency expelled is The Property Dragon Limited, which has already ceased trading and has been dissolved and removed from Companies House, but could be trading as Property Solutions Wales Porth.

The Property Dragon failed to pay a landlord £1,180 compensation after the firm’s management of a property failed to reach minimum standards set out in TPO’s Code of Practice.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Just as we check out new tenants we also need to check out agents very carefully, and don't assume that just because they are part of a big national chain they are going to be any good, I use a small independent agent here in Norwich, one high street office, I've used them for the past 20 yrs, if the rent is not paid into my bank account on the same day that the tenant pays it, it is always in my account by the next day, they are very good at checking out new tenants, I've not had a bad one from them yet, even when I find the new tenant myself they still have to apply through my agent, it is worth every penny of their fee to do so.

    Daniela Provvedi

    May I be rude and ask you what percentage they charge you, please Andrew?

     
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    Hello Daniela, 10% + vat, there are a few locally that charge 8% +vat but I wouldn't trust them

     
  • Daniela Provvedi

    Thanks Andrew 🙂

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    I think it’s a huge amount so every £1k you pay Agent attracts another £200. Tax, it soon adds up that could be on just a one bed Flat in Harrow that cost you £1200. pa, if you pay the c/tax it’s £1744. pa Band ‘C’)to add to this (if Tenant pay it you have to let for less rent) now add your £1300. License Fee + £300. pa other annual Certs add £1300. pa Service Charge if you supply white goods & furniture + £’s, possible EPC’s up grades. Accountant £180. pp. any vacant period down to you of Course to work is free. Boiler service & breakdowns. Debacle Deposit Schemes. Oh! sorry I nearly forgot did you inherit the Flat or do you pay the lender are they free ? Can you convey this to Shelter & Generation Rent etc, who believes there is no cost to LL & not entitled to receive Rent.

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    Michael, I'm sure that your correct in your area and your kind of properties, but that is where we differ, I'm in Norfolk and I rent mainly houses to families , my flats are over commercial properties that I own the freeholds on, I have an excellent relationship with the agent I use, I also have an excellent relationship with my tenants, couple of weeks ago I had a call from a tenant on a Sunday afternoon reporting a leak through the ceiling from a water tank in the loft, I was round there in less than an hour to attend to it, all part of being a landlord on call 24- 7 , my way works for me, it might not work for others

     
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