Property Ombudsman’s report highlights increase in complaints

Complaints to The Property Ombudsman (TPO) increased by 3 per cent in 2017. That is according to the findings of its annual report.

The data revealed that the consumer protection organisation received 3.658 complaints and made financial awards totalling £1.36 million in just over two thirds of these cases.

The lettings sector in particular contributed to this rise, with 2,212 formal complaints resolved; a rise of 11 per cent on the previous year. Of these, 49 per cent of complaints were made by landlords, while 45 per cent came from tenants.

The Property Ombudsman’s annual report also highlighted the top three reasons cited in lettings disputes as:

  • Poor management
  • Communication and record-keeping issues
  • Problems with tenancy agreements, inventories and deposits.

Meanwhile, in the property sales sector, there were a total of 1,098 complaints, which represented a fall of 16 per cent on the previous year. Sellers were responsible for 60 per cent of these complaints and buyers for 34 per cent.

In the lettings sector, Greater London had the greatest volume of complaints at 23 per cent. This was followed by the South East with 20 per cent and the North West with 11 per cent.

Commenting on the rise in complaints, Katrine Sporle, The Property Ombudsman, said: “We agree with Government that there are gaps in the current provision 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.”

Property disputes, in both the lettings and sales sector, require professional advice and guidance from a qualified legal expert who can specialise in property litigation.

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