Almost half of enquiries that come to The Property Ombudsman cannot be dealt with because they are either premature or do not fit its brief, the redress scheme has revealed.
Ombudsman Katrine Sporle said that of the 30,000 enquiries TPO receives annually, 7,000 have not yet complained to their agent and another 7,000 should have gone somewhere else. TPO will only take over complaints once agents have been given a chance to resolve them.
Speaking at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum, Sporle said TPO is addressing this issue as part of its membership of the Government’s Redress Reform Working Group alongside the Property Redress Scheme and the Housing Ombudsman.
The group has been tasked with creating a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service that all current schemes will feed into.
She said: “People get quite angry if we can’t help them.
“We don’t want to say you are not ready, we want to say there is no wrong front door and when you come through you will find some sort of help and assistance.
“We are developing a diagnostic tool on the working group that tells people where to go if they have started in the wrong place, and find information on rogue agents and landlords as well as help to make a complaint.”