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TPO report highlights CPR risk for estate agents

12th June 2018

Failure to comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations cost non-compliant agents £1.4m in 2017 according to The Property Ombudsman’s 2017 report.

The report looks at the number and nature of complaints made to The Property Ombudsman.

Of the complaints made, Lettings complaints outnumbered Sales complaints nearly 2 to 1.

And the average award for a sales complaint was £532, up 34% from 2016.

The report outlines the 4 key areas of non-compliance for estate agents

  • Communications and record keeping
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Instructions, terms of business, commission and termination
  • In-house complaints handling

Read the report in full: https://www.tpos.co.uk/reports/2017/

TPO’s Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents outlines in section 7 that all members of the scheme should

“comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008… (which) require you to disclose any information of which you are aware or should be aware of in relation to the property in a clear, intelligible and timely fashion and to take all reasonable steps that all statements that you make about a property, whether oral, pictorial or written, are accurate and are not misleading.

All material information must be disclosed and there must be no material omissions which may impact on the average consumer’s transactional decision and where information is given to buyers or their representatives, it must be accurate and not misleading.”[1]

Although TPO does not expect vendors or agents to undertake costly and intrusive investigations, should a sale fall through because of, for example, an issue highlighted on a survey this needs to be updated in the particulars and communicated to future interested parties.

TPO judgements frequently cite the failure of the agent to provide material information, that is information that would affect a decision to purchase a property, up front as a key component in their decisions.

See previous TPO judgements here:

 

Compliance in a Box from Landmark helps agents make sure you ask the right questions of your clients, and document their response. Our simple pay-as-you-go compliance toolkit helps agents fulfil their obligations under CPRs and AML; leaving you to deal with the business of selling houses.

For more information please complete the form below, or contact Samantha Peacock (sam.peacock@landmark.co.uk) on 01524 220013

Register your interest today

 

Verification

 

 

[1] https://www.tpos.co.uk/images/documents/rules-codes-obligations/residential-estate-agents/TPOE27-6_Code_of_Practice_for_Residential_Estate_Agents_A4_-_effective_from_1_Oct_2016.pdf

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