The Flat Agency Southampton, Hampshire

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About The Flat Agency

From LettingAgentToday, 4th May 2016: Consumers are being warned by The Property Ombudsman redress scheme about the actions of two lettings agents based in Southampton.

Both agencies, trading as ‘The Flat Agency & Michael Browns Ltd’ and ‘Property Vibe Ltd’, were expelled from lettings redress membership of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme for a minimum period of three years.

Without registration these companies cannot legally trade as letting agents, and other redress schemes will not allow previously expelled agents to join. Landlords who lease their property with an agent that is not registered with TPO will not be entitled to have their dispute reviewed by the Ombudsman, and nor will any tenants renting through an unregistered agent.

The decision to expel The Flat Agency & Michael Browns Ltd follows complaints made against it from local landlords and tenants. The complaints were independently reviewed by the Ombudsman and all were upheld. Cases against this agent were all similar in nature, relating to delay and/or failure in paying money owed to the complainants and several flagged serious concerns with the Ombudsman, who described the agents’ practices as “dishonest and deceitful”.

The Ombudsman ordered payment of the money owed together with compensation.

When the agent failed to pay either the money owed or compensation, it was referred to the scheme’s Disciplinary and Standard’s Committee (DSC). When it still failed to pay, the DSC expelled the agent from membership and from registration.

Gerry Fitzjohn, Chairman of the TPO Board, commented: “Cases like these are extremely rare but this agent has demonstrated a complete lack of regard for its clients, and failed to forward money to them which it should have been keeping in a separate clients’ money account. The firm committed several flagrant breaches of the TPO Codes of Practice for Residential Letting Agents and has been expelled as a result.”

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The Flat Agency

196 Shirley Road

Southampton

Hampshire

SO15 3FL

UK

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