Record number of complaints made to The Property Ombudsman

A report recently carried out by TPO shows that, despite a reduced number of housing transactions, the number of cases relating to sales and lettings being referred to TPO were 40% more than was forecast for 2010.
During 2010 TPO dealt with over 13,500 enquiries, a 6% increase on the figures for 2009 although Mr Hamer reports that “a significantly reduced amount of transactions, to my mind, should have led to fewer referrals to my office”.
The TPO received the highest recorded number of referrals in the 20 year existence of the scheme, 1,330 new referrals, of which 646 were sales and the remainder were lettings, HIPs and Residential Leasehold Management.  28 per cent higher than a previous peak in 2008 of 1,043.
The biggest cause for complaint was a lack of communication between the agent and the consumer, closely followed by the agents’ complaints handling abilities.
Most of the complaints came from South East England, 26 per cent, followed by South West England at 13 per cent.  Northern Ireland and Scotland were the best performers as combined they only generated 3 per cent of the complaints.
In 2010 558 cases were closed with only 4 of those being because they were outside the terms of reference or not being pursued, 221 were against the complainant with no award made and 17 were due to the complainant withdrawing, resolution between the parties or conciliation.
Are the numbers higher because there has been an increase in member numbers or do you think that the industry needs stringent regulation?
You can read the full report here
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