December 18

Agency Expelled: Landlord Complaint Sparks Ombudsman Action


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Monsoon Properties Ltd, a London lettings agency, is now expelled from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) due to its failure to pay £2,000 in compensation to a landlord. This decision stems from the agency’s inability to return a property with vacant possession, as requested at the conclusion of a guaranteed rent agreement. TPO, in its directive, emphasized the significance of meeting such obligations and ensuring fair treatment for landlords within the industry.

This expulsion serves as a noteworthy development, signaling the importance of adherence to agreements and timely compensation in the realm of property management. Landlords and tenants alike should take note of the repercussions for agencies that fall short in fulfilling their commitments, fostering a more transparent and accountable landscape in the property market.

Subsequently, the landlord faced an extended situation where a tenant continued to occupy the property, remitting a rent below the prevailing market rate. This occupancy persisted for over 14 months beyond the termination of the fixed term stipulated in the rent guarantee agreement.

It’s noteworthy that Monsoon Properties Ltd neglected to initiate possession proceedings, a crucial step explicitly outlined in its Terms of Business. Despite acknowledging the lapse, the agency attempted to address the issue by proposing a payment plan to the landlord. However, the practical resolution fell short, with only two out of the agreed-upon eight instalments being fulfilled by Monsoon Properties Ltd. This situation not only left the landlord in a prolonged state of financial inconvenience but also underscored the agency’s failure to adhere to its contractual obligations.

TPO’s recent actions have resulted in the expulsion of Monsoon Properties, a London lettings agency, which seems to have ceased operations, evident from the absence of an online presence and a registered trading address. In a separate instance, TPO also expelled Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors based in Kingston Upon Thames.

In the case of Monsoon Properties, the expulsion follows TPO’s order for the agency to pay £2,000 in compensation to a landlord. The failure to return vacant possession of a property, as requested at the conclusion of a guaranteed rent agreement, left the landlord with a tenant staying over 14 months beyond the fixed term.

Moreover, Monsoon Properties failed to initiate possession proceedings, as outlined in its Terms of Business. While the agency established a payment plan for the owed amount, only two out of the agreed-upon eight installments were made to the landlord.

Interestingly, it is speculated that Monsoon Properties is no longer active, given the lack of any online footprint or an identifiable trading address.

In a separate but related development, TPO’s expulsion of Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors was prompted by the Ombudsman’s support of five complaints filed by a consumer. The complainant had engaged the services of Prinsegate for a survey before purchasing a property. The Ombudsman awarded £890, covering the cost of the survey, in response to the significant issues identified in the survey report.

Key issues included the surveyor’s omission of condition ratings for individual elements, leading to a lack of clarity regarding the assessed condition of each element. These recent expulsions underscore TPO’s commitment to upholding standards within the property industry and ensuring fair treatment for consumers.

Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors, facing expulsion from The Property Ombudsman (TPO), consistently recommended additional investigations or verification of findings for various elements, even when no specific issues were identified. The survey report contributed to confusion by inconsistently labeling windows as timber-framed and later as metal-lined without providing sufficient clarification on the construction details.

Moreover, the inclusion of costings for injecting a damp-proof course, deemed impractical for a listed property, suggested a lack of awareness on the part of the surveyor. Notably, Prinsegate failed to elucidate the disparity in costings for the installation of a fire break, with conflicting figures of £2,000 in email correspondence and £30,000 in the costing report.

Despite these concerns, there are indications that Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors might still be in operation, despite a lack of communication with TPO throughout the investigation. TPO has initiated its compliance process, notifying relevant authorities, including local and national Trading Standards, for further investigation. Additionally, these expulsions have been communicated to all property portals, ensuring a comprehensive dissemination of information within the industry.



Read more Property Investing News HERE


Monsoon Properties Ltd, Ombudsman, Rogue Lettings Agency

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