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.”