Six agents thrown out of ombudsman scheme after failing to pay awards

Six letting agents have been expelled from The Property Ombudsman.

All had failed to comply with parts of the codes of practice and pay subsequent awards ordered by the Ombudsman.

While some of the agents appear to have ceased trading, TPO said that two others appear to have reopened, trading under the same name but with different directors. In another case, says TPO, the directors have set up a new company.

TPO has said that agents (and their directors) which have ceased trading and been expelled from TPO will not be accepted for redress until awards are paid.

Agents who trade without belonging to a redress scheme are trading illegally.

The expelled agents – together with notes from TPO and links to each individual case – are:

  • Citi Places Management Ltd (trading as Citi Places Management) based in east London
    • Unpaid award of £3,400 (active website but no properties advertised)
  • Elite Properties Essex Ltd (trading as Elite Properties) based in Grays, Essex
    • Unpaid award of £200 (appears to have ceased trading with no active website)
  • Pinkmove Lettings Newport Limited  based in Newport, Wales
    • Unpaid award of £5,000. NOTE: This company is a separate company from Pinkmove Ltd estate agents.
  • PM Premier Limited (trading as PM Premier Ltd) based in Redhill, North Somerset
    • Unpaid award of £500 (The same directors have set up a new company, The Letting Station, but appear not to be registered for redress and have been referred to Trading Standards)
  • CE Property Ltd (trading from Bitterne Precinct as Charles Carr) based in Southampton
    • Unpaid award of £350 (A new company trading under the same name but with no connected directors is trading from the same address and registered for redress with PRS)
  • Madox Estates Ltd (trading as Madox) based in West Kensington, London
    • Unpaid award of £5,269 (Appears to have ceased trading with no active website)

Gerry Fitzjohn, non-executive director and chairman of TPO’s finance committee, said: “In the few cases where awards remain unpaid, agents are referred to the TPO Compliance Committee, which has the power to expel agents from the scheme.

“Expelled agents are reported to the appropriate authorities who have the power to ban agents from carrying out agency business.

“If TPO becomes aware that an agent under investigation has ceased trading, complainants are promptly informed and, where an award is made, are provided with the necessary documentation to make a claim against that company.”

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  1. Mark Walker 2

    The joy of the Limited company.  A vessel for avoiding liabilities.

  2. Bless You

    So what will pinkmove do.? They are massive in Newport.

  3. PaulC

    Hi All, I felt I had to jump on to ensure that anyone who glances the above understands that the “Pinkmove Lettings Newport Limited” is in no way connected to Pinkmove Ltd. Everyone at Pinkmove Ltd is incredibly saddened by the whole situation and have been totally let down by someone we had tried to help and support by licensing the brand to them.
    Myself and my wife own and operate Pinkmove Ltd and have not operated any form of residential lettings service since selling off the lettings division in November 2016. When we sold the lettings business we licensed the brand to Pinkmove Lettings Newport Limited who’s right to use it expired in May 2018.
    We work incredibly hard at Pinkmove ltd and are devastated to have our brand which we licensed to Pinkmove Lettings Newport embroiled in such a situation.
    We are members of TPO and have never had even a whiff of a formal complaint in the last 4 1/2 years.
    Right now we are the second highest selling high street branch in the UK, having sold 464 homes locally so far this year.

    1. Bless You

      Cake and eat it not possible with lettings is it.  
      Well done with the sales though. Is it all about the fee or is marketing in the right places just as important.?

      1. PaulC

        I have never got excited about lettings, all too much stress. Landlords don’t want to pay a high enough fee to do the job well in my opinion. 
        Our success in sales is largely down to a relentless approach to everything that we do. We have been the highest-selling branch in Wales for the last 46 months in a row.
        We do very little marketing now. Last month we listed 104 homes and sold 85 from one location and did ZERO marketing outside of portals. I think there were a few Getagent listings in that 105 also.

        1. Bless You

          Thx for the tips. I am not in your area but like your work. We chucked in lettings as well. The 2 industries are very different. I e. Lettings is mental!


  4. MarkJ

    Regarding the PM Premier press release …the TPO seem to have made a bit of a mess of it.

    Theyre stating Redhill Somerset when thats the address of the recently appointed Liquidator.

    The company is actually based in Whitchurch Road, Cardiff  and has previously been called Property Megastore I believe.


    Theyve now morphed into The Letting Station Limited with the same Directors/Ownership

    1. PaulC

      The ability for letting firms to “pheonix” is outrageous in my opinion. They should face a fit and proper test by the regulater and if there is a connection at a director level they should not be allowed to join under a new name without some serious scrutiny.  Also if the is another business with the same directors already setup again they should join the dots.

  5. Diane Jenkins

    Hi I am a local competitor who has already had Landlords through my door asking for help to manage and advise them on serious issues with their properties that Pinkmove Lettings Ltd are now unable to deal with all of whom thought their agent was Pinkmove themselves not Pinkmove Lettings Ltd  as on their website there is no mention of Pinkmove Lettings Ltd being  separate from Pinkmove  I just feel sorry for the Landlords who are now left in a mess through no fault of their own

    1. PaulC

      Diane,   Pinkmove Lettings Newport Ltd has nothing to do with Pinkmove Ltd and as such why would I stipulate that it is a separate company on my website?
      As a local competitor, I am sure you are well aware that two people setup Pinkmove originally in 2015.   The other person resigned and left Pinkmove Ltd in November 2016.
      Due to complexities with ownership rights and the overall business, the lettings aspect was sold/given as part of the separation to the resigned director. They had the legal right to use the brand they had initially helped create for a period of time.  
      That period of time came to an end in May of 2018.  
      I will be writing to all local competitors in the coming days and forwarning of immediate legal proceedings, seeking damages for any that tries to deliberately twist the similarities to purposely mislead and cause defamation to my company or companies.      
      We already have two customers who have provided statements regarding competitors attempting mislead customers. 

  6. Diane Jenkins

    PaulC  I was only commenting on what the landlords had discussed with me as an employee of a lettings agent and not  the  owner!!  I am not aware of the set up in your company that is none of my business I am simply commenting due to enquiries that have been put to me so  there is no need to threaten me with legal proceedings. I am entitled to my own personal opinion after all !

  7. PaulC

    Diane I am not threatening you with legal action. I am staying that I will be writing to local competitors to ensure that they do not compromise their position.

    Obviously as a local competitor your branch will receive the communication.

    All the best.. hope you can help every landlord you come across. Because nothing would get me involved with the hassle of lettings.

  8. MarkJ

    Diane…can you explain?

  9. PaulC

    Hi Mark, Diane is a local competitor. 

  10. fluter

    PaulC – Diane says that at the start of her post……………


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