The latest report by the Property Ombudsman scheme shows that complaints upheld against property agents have continued to increase, up a colossal 32% on last year. Almost all of which were resolved in favour of the complainant, resulting in record payouts for the consumer by the agents in the wrong, the largest of which was over £16,000 for one particular letting dispute.
See the full report here.
The already dire reputation of lettings and estate agents across the nation has taken a further dive and Katrine Sporle of the Ombudsman commented:
Overall, this is good news for consumers and redress, but not so great for the reputation of agents who collectively paid out over £800,000 in awards.
My message for those agents is simple: pay more attention to TPO’s Codes of Practice and raise your standards.Katrine Sporle
In contrast, those operating in the online and hybrid sector have continued to wage war against the stale, anti-consumer practices of the high-street sector, with many, but not all, excelling in the customer service they provide.
Last week, one of the leading online agents in the sector, eMoov.co.uk, was voted number one in the country of some 25,000+ high-street and online agents, based on the service they provide to their customers.
It’s almost becoming an estate agency tradition that every year the Property Ombudsman release their report on the industry, and every year the poor practices of the high-street sector, in particular, result in an increase in complaints on the previous year.
The high-street sector is struggling in the current industry environment, to say the least, and despite being squeezed for market share by online and hybrid agents, are only getting worse rather than pivoting with the new age culture of estate agency and offering a better customer experience for a fairer price.
Despite this positive evolution in the industry, selling or buying a home can occasionally be an expensive and sometimes fraught experience. The Government must now really step in and introduce licensing for all estate agents, in order to regulate against the bad guys, of which there seems to be many.Russell Quirk