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Graham Awards


Landlords Beware - agent still trading after compensation failure

Hawks Properties Limited has been expelled from The Property Ombudsman scheme for failing to honour a compensation award.

The agency - with an address in Stratford, East London - failed pay compensation of £10,264.50 to a landlord following a formal complaint investigation by TPO.

The Property Ombudsman says the company appears to still be trading illegally, offering properties to let. Trading Standards has been informed.


The landlord instructed Hawks to let and fully manage his property; he also opted into a rental insurance package in return for a higher fee.

The property was let to two tenants who six months later stopped paying rent. Hawks made a claim on the rental insurance, but this was rejected by the insurer because of what Hawks admits was to a procedural error on its part.

Hawks assisted the landlord in regaining possession of the property and the tenants were evicted a year after they stopped paying rent, returning the property in a very poor condition and owing some £12,000.

The landlord made a complaint to The Property Ombudsman, seeking compensation for the £12,000 arrears and a further £7,000 to cover damage caused to the property by the tenants.

The Ombudsman supported a complaint regarding referencing after it was found that Hawks was notified of the possibility that the tenants were not a couple, but failed to investigate this. This fact is important as the landlord only had a license to let to a single household. 

The Ombudsman also found that Hawks failed to flag to the landlord that the tenants were paying rent in advance and specifically in order to pass referencing.

The Ombudsman also supported a complaint about Hawks Properties’ handling of the insurance claim and it was found to be fair for the agent to compensate the landlord on the basis that the claim had succeeded. 

TPO says this was because the agent admitted being at fault for the error which led to the claim being denied, and did not provide signed terms of business limiting its liability in the event the claim was unsuccessful.

The Ombudsman made an award of £9,264.50 for financial loss and £1,000 for aggravation distress and inconvenience, coming to a total of £10,264.50.

However, Hawks Properties Limited failed to pay the award.

The agency was referred to the scheme’s independent Compliance Committee, which ruled that it should be excluded from The Property Ombudsman scheme.

As part of TPO’s compliance process, notification of this expulsion has been shared with all relevant bodies, including both Local and National Trading Standards for further investigation, as well as all property portals. The memorandum of understanding between TPO and the rival Property Redress Scheme prevents agents from registering with the other scheme until outstanding awards have been paid to consumers.

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  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    Again its the landlord out of pocket despite doing everything correctly.

  • icon

    It seems the agents deceive the LLs, the government has made various Act and Bills drawn up as legal against the LLs, the tenants do not pay rent for months and then leave the property damaged and the government, CAB, Shelter continue to support the tenants. All this at the expense of LLs, who loose out every turn. It is cyclical. The government will continue to see shortage of properties and tenants will face shortage of renting, when the LLs will only choose the best tenants with very good references. Time for bad tenants not allowed to rent out. Let the government do their job.


    Only 5* + tenants concidered now this has to be the only way now going forward


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