The Property Ombudsman receive record enquiries as pay outs rise

Rebecca Marsh

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) received a record number of enquiries with 57,635 people settling housing disputes through its service last year, fresh figures show.

A 240% rise since 2013 highlights the growing demand for the service and new customer service channels including 24/7 webchat and an online self-service tool, according to TPO.

2024 marks the service’s 35th year of operations. It has grown from its estate agent roots to provide redress for lettings, residential leasehold management and a wide of range of property professions.

With a total of £1.52m awarded to consumers and 83% of accepted cases found in favour of the consumer, the service continues to demonstrate its independence and promote trust and confidence in its decisions and its Trading Standards approved Codes of Practice.

The Property Ombudsman, Rebecca Marsh, said: “We offer much more than dispute resolution, our expert teams provide guidance to resolve consumer issues before they escalate to complaints, saving consumers and businesses time and money.

“We also work with businesses to drive best practice through our Codes of Practice which have become the gold standard for the industry.

“The 99% compliance with our decisions shows the industry wants to deliver high-quality service and offer redress where they fall short.”

Consumers are increasingly demanding justice and becoming aware of the options available to them when unable to resolve a dispute with a property business. The consumer enquiry function is an important support for those who may struggle otherwise to access help for their property and housing related issues with multiple redress schemes serving both new, public and private properties.

Within private lettings, there was a high level of enquiries and disputes relating to repairs and maintenance with 62 per cent of lettings enquiries coming from tenants. A total of £626,383 was awarded in lettings cases. The total awarded to consumers in 2023 represents a 175% increase since 2013.

The Property Ombudsman scheme is the largest approved redress scheme for the private property sector with 37,397 members operating from 19,359 offices and branches across the UK. It is also the only approved Ombudsman working in the private rented sector.
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One Comment

  1. Hit Man

    The Redress schemes encourage agents to make small compensation payouts to avoid prolonged disputes. While this may save time, it also encourages complaints from consumers who believe they can secure a payout. Additionally, ambulance-chasing companies exacerbate the problem.

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