Ombudsman Expels Agent For Two Years

Date Published 17 December 2012

An estate agent and lettings agency with the same sole director have been expelled from The Property Ombudsman Scheme for a minimum of two years.

BLP Property Management, of 43 High Street, Spennymoor, County Durham DL16 6BB, was expelled by TPO Disciplinary and Standards Committee for failing to pay an award of £500 made against it by the Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer.

The committee determined that BLP had committed flagrant breaches of TPO Lettings Code of Practice after BLP first failed a landlord by not carefully referencing tenants and then not co-operating with the Ombudsman’s investigation after the landlord complained. It also then ignored the award of £500 made against it.??

Gerry Fitzjohn, chief operating officer of TPO, said: `Lettings agents who cannot be bothered to comply with our Code of Practice when they have committed to support it have no place within our scheme.

`As BLP and Martin Currington Estate Agents have the same sole director in Mr T Langdale and operate from the same premises, Martin Currington Estate Agents has also been expelled from membership of TPO for at least two years to avoid any risk of consumer confusion.

`This means neither firm will appear on TPO’s member database for either sales or lettings, although we are compelled by the Office of Fair Trading to offer Martin Currington Estate Agents registration with our scheme under the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act, which is far less of a commitment to high standards than full TPO membership.

`Landlords and tenants should be aware that they will no longer be able to refer matters to the Ombudsman if they feel they have been badly treated by BLP. They are therefore at a serious disadvantage.

`We have informed local Trading Standards officers of the expulsions and neither firm must make any mention of TPO to promote their businesses.`