Agent welcomes TPO complaint

Zoe Bywater, director of lettings for the Bedford office of Belvoir, will reflect on a recent experience with TPO and debate what agents should do when faced with a client dispute during a webinar today.

Bywater, who is also a Propertymark board member, will appear on the free webinar alongside Siobhan Fennell, interim deputy ombudsman at The Property Ombudsman (TPO), and Rajeev Nayyar, managing director of repairs and maintenance software provider Fixflo.

A client recently lodged a complaint against the Bedford office of Belvoir with TPO. After a thorough adjudication process with records collected over several years submitted as evidence, the ombudsman ruled in favour of the agent.

On receiving the complaint, Bywater commented: “It is important that landlords and tenants have an official channel to escalate disputes and protect their rights; in reverse, having a transparent and fair adjudication process protects our business reputation as property agents.”

“The majority of our industry follow the rules, and only rogue agents operating without care of industry standards should fear complaints.”

“My team saw the complaint as a rare opportunity to test our business processes — agents in the scheme are required to retain records for at least six years. The main factor for the complaint against us being dismissed was our ability to provide evidence on our adherence with TPO’s Codes of Practice. That audit trail would have been much more challenging if our operations weren’t process-driven and enabled by tech.”

Agents are welcome to register and tune in for Handling Complaints: A Lettings Agent’s Lesson on Engaging with TPO, which takes place on 18 May 2021.

Participants can submit questions in advance at research@fixflo.com. All registrants will also gain priority access to the full recording.

To join the webinar, click here.

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2 Comments

  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    Definitely one in the net for agents vs complainers.

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  2. Anonymous Agent

    The only surprise in this is that the TPO didn’t find a spurious reason to make some kind of award to the complainant.

    Great work from Zoe & her team!

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