Warning comes after elderly couple put down £2,000 to reserve a house within a retirement development but lost their 'ideal home' after struggling to sell their old home within the 21-day deadline.
Complaints to the Property Ombudsman increased by 16% in 2018 and more than £2million is returned to consumers in compensatory awards, the latest annual figures show.
Service would be free and help new-build buyers to get faster redress for defective properties
The fierce battle for dominance among online estate agents has led to a surge in the number of complaints upheld against them for misleading adverts.
Potential home buyers who were mistakenly told their pet dog would be welcome in their future home have been awarded over £1,000 in compensation.
The Property Ombudsman stepped in after an agent stated that a developer would allow the buyers to keep their dog at their new £550,000 home – prompting a £2,000 reservation fee.
The UK’s Property Ombudsman has called for the introduction of a Property Agents Act as the current situation is not open or consistent enough.
The call from Christopher Hammer, who is coming to the end of his nine year term as Ombudsman, believe the latest data shows that provisions do not go far enough in terms of disclosure for agents, tenants and landlords.
The figures show that more than half of the 9,141 enquiries received related to lettings disputes, nearly double that of sales. Hammer says this reinforces the importance of legislation introduced a year ago, making it a legal requirements for all letting agents in England to register with an approved redress scheme.
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