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Shock rise in compensation paid by letting agents last year

The Property Ombudsman received a record number of enquiries with 57,635 people seeking support with their property and housing related issues in 2023.

A 240% rise since 2013 highlights the growing demand for the service and new customer service channels including 24/7 webchat and an online self-service tool, claims TPO.

A total of £1.52m was awarded in compensation across lettings and sales and 83% of accepted cases were found in favour of the consumer.


Within private lettings, there was a high level of enquiries and disputes relating to repairs and maintenance with 62% of lettings enquiries coming from tenants rather than landlords. A total of £626,383 was awarded in lettings cases. This represents a 175% increase since 2013.

The Property Ombudsman, Rebecca Marsh, says: “We offer much more than dispute resolution, our expert teams provide guidance to resolve consumer issues before they escalate to complaints, saving consumers and businesses time and money.

“We also work with businesses to drive best practice through our Codes of Practice which have become the gold standard for the industry.

“The 99 per cent compliance with our decisions shows the industry wants to deliver high-quality service and offer redress where they fall short.”

Consumers are increasingly demanding justice and becoming aware of the options available to them when unable to resolve a dispute with a property business. The consumer enquiry function is an important support for those who may struggle otherwise to access help for their property and housing related issues with multiple redress schemes serving both new, public and private properties.

The Property Ombudsman scheme is the largest approved redress scheme for the private property sector with 37,397 members operating from 19,359 offices and branches across the UK. It is also the only approved Ombudsman working in the private rented sector.

You can see TPO’s new annual report here: https://www.tpos.co.uk/news-media-and-press-releases/reports

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Or without the anti-agent tone/rhetoric.....
    The public awareness continues to improve since membership was mandated for agents in late 2008. This will increase further still, when Landlords are required to also join a scheme. Interestingly, Landlords sought help more than 1/3 of the time with tenants only raising 12% more enquiries. The high volume of enquiries can largely be attributed to the public's lack of knowledge around housing laws relating to both selling or letting. Despite nearly 67m people living in the UK, just 57k enquiries were raised representing just 0.08% of the population. A sign that our housing standards are far better than many would have you believe. Interestingly, penalties average just £26 per enquiry.

  • Hit Man

    The Redress schemes encourage agents to make small compensation payouts to avoid prolonged disputes. While this may save time, it also encourages complaints from consumers who believe they can secure a payout. Additionally, ambulance-chasing companies exacerbate the problem.

  • icon

    Kristian, interesting statistics, however l believe the population in Britain is considerably in excess of 67m.
    Hit man, very true.


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