The number of enquiries concerning lettings issues received by The Property Ombudsman in the past year was almost double the number of enquiries concerning sales.
A press release on the TPO website, posted yesterday, says no fewer than 9,141 consumers contacted The Property Ombudsman scheme regarding property issues, an eight per cent increase on the previous year.
More than half of all the enquiries received were regarding lettings issues with 5,303 enquiries logged - the equivalent of 58 per cent of all contacts. This was nearly double the sales enquiries which represented 30 per cent.
Complaints grew by 34 per cent overall with 1,587 cases reviewed, of which 934 were against letting agents (up 30 per cent) and 596 were against sales agents (up 39 per cent).
Some 34,944 agents across lettings and sales have registered with TPO - that is a 16 per cent increase on a year earlier.
In his farewell report TPO Christopher Hamer, who is retiring after being in post for nine years, has called for a Property Agents Act. He says it ”would update the Estate Agents Act 1979 to reflect developments in the sales market and most relevantly now, bring lettings into a precise framework where all agent activity is covered by one piece of legislation.”
Hamer suggests the licensing of agents, standardised tenancy agreements and compulsory client money protection could all be areas included in such an Act.