Ask the agency (or browse their website) for a copy of their internal complaints procedure, this will outline how to make a complaint to the agency. Make your complaint in writing, keep copies and ask them to confirm in writing:
- The name of the person at the agency who is handling your complaint.
- What they propose to do to resolve your complaint and when they'll do it.
You should receive a response within 15 days of making your written complaint.
If your complaint has not been resolved by the agent, you are confident that your issue has been understood and you have given the agent a fair chance to resolve it then contact their relevant redress scheme. It is a legal requirement for estate agents and letting agents to belong to a government-approved redress scheme—there are two approved schemes: TPOS and PRS.
You must contact TPOS within 12 months of the agent's final correspondence regarding your complaint. If your agent belongs to PRS then you only have six months. The primary aim of these organisations is to independently evaluate evidence of complaints.
Check your agent’s website to find out which scheme they belong to.
It is important that you complete this step before referring your complaint us because if the redress scheme supports your complaint they can ask the agent to pay you compensation. This is not something that we can do.
If step one and step two haven't satisfactorily dealt with your complaint then provided the agent is one of our members you can send your complaint to us.
We will investigate
We will investigate complaints against our members where there is evidence the agent has breached our Conduct and Membership Rules. Examples of this are:
- Failure to use an internal complaints procedure
- Misuse of client money
- Failure to uphold high standards of ethical and professional practice
- Failure to protect and promote clients’ interests
- Conflicts of interest
- Failure to answer correspondence
- Any act of dishonesty or conviction of a criminal offence.
We cannot investigate
- An agent who is not a member, use Find an Expert to see if your agent is a member
- Complaints about tenancy deposits
Make a complaint
To make a complaint against one of our members and to help us begin our investigation, please complete our Complaint Form.
What happens next?
What happens next will depend on whether or not the complaint is to be set down for a disciplinary hearing. Some cases do not require a hearing and you will be informed of the outcome in writing. It may be that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the complaint and the case would be closed with no further action.
In cases where we consider there to be sufficient evidence a disciplinary hearing will take place.
Latest Tribunal Hearing reports
Disciplinary hearings take place when serious breaches of our Conduct and Membership Rules occur. A three-person tribunal will consider the case and will impose sanctions if the member is found to have breached our rules. The tribunal team's sanctions may be published depending on the severity of the breach.
In this assured advice Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service provides guidance for several questions that relate to Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (CICAR).
Is it possible to offer any guidance on time limits for how long a property may be described as ‘new’ or ‘new instructions’? Is there any guidance as to what ‘new instructions’ means, and would it include ‘revised instructions’?
When is it permissible for an estate agent marketing a property to describe an attic space as an additional bedroom?