Letting Agency Excluded from the Property Ombudsman

A letting agency has had its exclusion from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) extended by an additional four years after seven more landlords raised disputes against the company for various reasons.

Cornwall based letting agency Premier Property Management (PPM) was first expelled by the redress scheme in November last year. This was due to the firm’s failure to pass on rental payments and also delayed handing over deposits to landlords. PPM was initially excluded from TPO for two years, however this has since been extended due to additional complaints from landlords. Fines have been awarded of £20,566.23.

PPM is no longer allowed to legally trade. The company appears to have obeyed this ruling and their website is no longer active.

Chairman of TPO’s board, Gerry Fitzjohn, said: ‘While it is believed that the firm is no longer trading, we have taken action to ensure the firm’s expulsion is extended so they are unable to trade if they attempt to register with any redress scheme. We have also alerted the relevant authorities concerning their conduct. We urge consumers to always check their sales or letting agent is registered with TPO, and following the scheme’s Codes of Practice which offer additional safeguards to protect consumers from unfair practices.’

In order to reach to a judgement on each case, the TPO considered the evidence presented by landlords. This included emails and bank statements, which were analysed against the standards set out in TPO’s Lettings Code of Practice.

Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman, said: ‘This agent’s behaviour fell well below the standards expected and their systematic failure to pass on rental payments and deposits received has affected the lives of several landlords. Cases like these are fortunately extremely rare but do highlight the importance of consumers keeping their own written records so I can review emails, bank statements and correspondence as part of my investigation to determine if the agent has acted fairly.’

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