More than half of Brits experiencing problems with ‘rogue’ estate or letting agents, claim

Estate or letting agents caused problems for more than half of those consumers who bought, sold or rented a home within the last five years, it has been claimed.

However, the majority didn’t check if their agent was regulated or part of a professional body before signing the contract.

That’s according to new research from Propertymark, which found that a “worrying number” of Brits assume all estate agents, letting agents and landlords are regulated.

Propertymark said that of those consumers who experienced problems with their agent, 37% of buyers and sellers, and 42% of renters, didn’t consider whether their agent was part of a professional body such as Propertymark before progressing with their transaction.

One in six renters wrongly assumed all agents were regulated. Of the 55% who faced issues with their property, more than half (57%) hadn’t checked if their agent or landlord was indeed covered, leading to issues such as:

  • Waiting a long time for any issues with the property to be fixed (38%)
  • Struggling to get old items replaced (20%)
  • Not getting their full deposits back – and not being given a reason why (12%)

Those who did check if their agent was a member of a professional body enjoyed shorter waiting times when things needed fixing in their property. For 41% of those people, issues were typically addressed within a week. By contrast, only 25% of those who didn’t check had their issues solved within a week.

Less than half (47%) of buyers or sellers checked if their estate agent was regulated before moving ahead with the sale or purchase. As with renters, a third (37%) didn’t think about it, while 14% prioritised the property and went with the agent because they were attached to the home they wanted to buy.

More than half of buyers and sellers (53%) encountered issues such as bad communication (19%), feeling as if the agent didn’t care about them (12%) and feeling pressurised (10%).

On top of this, 70% of buyers worry that their sale won’t go through, even after the offer has been accepted, which – according to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government – costs buyers between £695 and £744 and sellers £582 to £740.

Mark Hayward and David Cox of Propertymark said: “Choosing a property, whether it’s to buy or rent, is a huge financial commitment and can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. We almost always go with the agent attached to a property if we’re buying or renting, but it’s important to at least ask the question.

“It’s really important consumers look for the ‘Propertymark Protected’ logo when choosing an agent.

“It means they’re dealing with a professional who has opted for regulation in an unregulated sector and it will give them peace of mind that their money is protected.”


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  1. smile please

    Have property mark just shot themselves in the foot?

    The majority of movers did not check to see if their agent was regulated?

    Well the advertising campaign must be going well after all these years!

  2. ArthurHouse02

    Give it a rest “Propertymark” there is no benefit to being part of your scheme. Plenty of bad/rogue estate/letting agents have your logo in the window. You have no brand awareness, no meaningful media campaign, do you really think the public know who you are. Do you also really think that a buyer is going to pass up buying the home of their dreams just because the estate agent doesnt have a tacky logo in the window.

  3. James

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 30 years it’s that the Agent gets the blame for…

    A vendor or landlord pulling out.

    A purchaser or tenant pulling out.

    A chain breaking.

    A poor landlord.

    A poor tenant.



    1. bren_gun

      you’ve forgotten to add:


      Global warming

      1. AgentV


  4. Walker_McCoy

    What is this? half the tenants in the country are social tenants, about 30% of the housing stock has transacted in the past 5 years. The implication is that anyone who has dealt with a letting agent or estate agent in the past 5 years has experienced the alleged issues. The level of complaints to the redress schemes in 5 years accounts for less than 5% of private tenancies or transacted sales, that alone should have been a legitimacy test on this nonsense.

    This distorted extrapolation of numbers is clearly designed to lobby government  into forming some lucrative quango that we’ll all be forced to sign up to. Whoever did this and put their name to it really ought to be called to  detail the sample size of the report, the duration and extent of the research. My guess is it was probably lent them by a lobby group such as shelter or generation rent.

    1. gk1uk2001

      Nail on the head Walker_McCoy!

  5. jeremy1960

    Remind me again,  what does property mark do for its members, how does it fight their corner? Answers please on the back of a first class stamp!

  6. Will

    My guess is Joe Public have not even heard of Propertymark. Are they using the Shelter standard of statistical analysis?

  7. NewsBoy

    Who is propertymark. Are they a new association looking to mount a challenge to NAEA??

    1. Walker_McCoy

      A government lobby organisation hoping to get a crack at becoming a compulsory quango.

    2. Katie

      They are the same thing? NAEA Propertymark

      1. J1

        Well done Katie – you win the cigar

        I think they can be best described as a training organisation these days, rather than a trade body

        1. AgentV

          Aren’t they the new best friends of the Call Centre Lister fraternity? 

  8. Woodentop

    Stats again!!! Maybe PM would like to disclose the actual numbers as two respondents = 100% or 50%.


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