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Graham Awards


Six agencies expelled by The Property Ombudsman

It’s been revealed that agents have been kicked out of The Property Ombudsman in recent months for failing to pay compensatory awards.

All six were referred to the scheme’s independent Compliance Committee, which ruled that they should be excluded.

Details of these expulsions have been shared with all relevant bodies including Trading Standards for further investigation, as well as all property portals. 


The memorandum of understanding between TPO and other redress schemes prevents agents from registering with another scheme until outstanding awards have been paid to consumers.

The excluded agents are:

Reptons, in Stratford: TPO found that Reptons did not abide by the terms of a guaranteed rent agreement, including an obligation to return the property in good condition and pay rent during any void period whilst repairs were undertaken. 

A lack of rental payments, damage to the property, no rental payments whilst repairs were undertaken were all financial losses to the landlord as a result of Reptons’ shortcomings. 

A total award of nearly £22,000 was made comprising of £14,300 in rent not paid, a contribution towards repairs, rent payments whilst works were undertaken and an award to reflect the aggravation caused. 

TPO believes that this agent is still trading. Phone calls are being answered and properties remain active on its website.


Cook Estates, in London, SE20: An award was made for failing to transfer rent to the landlord and this remains unpaid. As a matter of best practice, Cook Estates should have transferred rent to the landlord promptly upon receipt. 

TPO directed Cook Estates to transfer the rental sum of £1,928 plus £500 in compensation. It appears that this agent is no longer trading. Post is being returned to sender, emails are undeliverable and there is no online activity.


Assured Estate Agents, in Blackburn: This agent has failed to pay two compensatory awards totalling nearly £6,000. TPO found that in both cases Assured Estate Agents had not paid over money owed. 

The first was to a tenant who had paid 11 months rent upfront but vacated a month early due to the landlord selling. The second complaint came from a landlord who had not received nine months’ rent, despite the tenant providing evidence that payments had been made. 

TPO has been advised by the agent that they are no longer Assured Estate Agents Ltd and are now AE1 Lettings Limited.

Vanquish Letting Services Limited, in Derbyshire: Following the termination of the management contract, the agent did not provide any written confirmation to outline liabilities for fees and charges to the complainant, who was the landlord.

TPO was satisfied the contract had ended when the tenant subsequently paid rent, meaning the agent was not contractually entitled to deduct their fee when transferring over to the complainant. An award of £100 was made. 

TPO is unsure if Vanquish Letting Services is still trading, but it appears unlikely with no live properties on online property portals and an undeliverable email address.


Goldfield Properties Limited, in Middlesex: The agent provided no evidence and failed to abide by their obligation to co-operate with TPO’s investigation. 

TPO therefore supported the complaint from a leaseholder and made an award of £250 for aggravation caused by the agent’s poor communication. 

TPO is unsure if Goldfield Properties is still trading. It’s listed as active on Companies House and a proposal to strike off was suspended in July 2022 due to an objection.


Ideal Locations Essex Limited (trading as Ideal Location Essex), in Illford: The agent provided no evidence and failed to abide by their obligation to co-operate with TPO’s investigation. TPO therefore supported the landlord’s compliant that the agent failed to undertake inspections and made an award of £150. 

This agent is no longer trading.


A statement from TPO says that despite an ever-increasing demand for its service (over 45,000 enquiries in 2021), it has maintained 99 per cent compliance with Ombudsman awards.

Some 2,224 financial awards were made to consumers in 2021; 2,193 were paid and only 17 awards remained unpaid throughout the year with 14 agents excluded, compared to 19 exclusions in 2020. 

The Compliance Committee has taken action against all agents that did not comply with the Ombudsman’s decision.

  • Hit Man

    Redress Schemes need to understand that the complainant is not always right, they don't understand in most cases and are very quick to suggest that members should just pay compensation rather than deal with any complaint in full.

  • icon

    My small lettings business has traded for 25 years and in that time one single complaint has been made to TPOS which was not upheld. We worked with them and they saw sense. Mandatory membership of an ombudsman is a good thing but in my experience a well run business will not be referred to them. Some of these awards are for silly small amounts and it seems to me that the agencies involved were already struggling or badly run. Otherwise why not just pay the award, dust yourself off and move on! I'm sure I would

    Hit Man

    I agree that some of the awards are silly small amounts therefore, the redress scheme should have considered that. We had a recent complaint from a tenant after asking for our complaint procedure they ignored the process and went straight to the redress scheme, the Redress scheme said they were still happy to accept their complaint and asked me if I would consider just offering them something so they could close the case! We said no and provided a load of evidence that took weeks of our time to conclude with no redress and no claim paid, it should never have even gone to the redress scheme in the first place. Agents should not have to defend themselves from every disgruntled tenant the schemes are using their power with a big stick approach.


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