The Property Redress Scheme has expelled Jordan Residential following non-compliance with a Head of Redress Decision.
Jordan Residential, based in South Croydon, Greater London have been expelled from membership with the Property Redress Scheme after failing to make an award of £612.80 to a Complainant.
The decision to expel this Agent from the scheme began following receipt of a complaint from a Prospective Tenant with regards to a Holding Deposit. The Tenant in question had viewed a property advertised by Jordan Residential as three bedrooms. When the tenant arrived, it transpired that the property only had two bedrooms and a converted lounge. The Tenant felt rushed and pressured by Jordan Residential and paid £600 without it being explained fully the reason for this deposit and whether or not it was not refundable.
Upon reflection, the Tenant decided they were unhappy with the arrangement and informed the Agent within 24 that they were only prepared to accept the property at a lower market rent based on two bedroom property rental amounts in the local area. Jordan Residential verbally refused the offer and did not enter into any further correspondence with the Tenant following this conversation. The Tenant sent two letters to the Agent by recorded delivery in an attempt to resolve the issue but her communications were ignored.
The complaint was raised with the Property Redress Scheme and the Head of Redress deemed that retention of the Tenant’s Holding deposit in this situation was unfair because:
· The Tenant pulled out of the tenancy before the relevant costs covered by the holding deposit had actually been incurred by the Agent.
· The Agent had not yet taken the property off the market so the Landlord had not suffered any loss by the property being held.
· The property did not conform to its description.
The Head of Redress instructed Jordan Residential to pay £612.80 to the Complainant in lieu of the Holding Deposit and recorded delivery costs. Jordan Residential have not paid the award.
In addition to this, Jordan Residential has at no time acknowledged the Property Redress Scheme complaints process or attempted to deal with the matter as a genuine claim. The PRS received no communication or evidence from the Agent and they have also failed to pay the advertised Complaint Subscription Fees to the scheme.
Jordan Residential had their membership suspended pending further investigation by the Head of Redress. His recommendation to the Board of the Property Redress Scheme was that Jordan Residential be expelled from the scheme due to the lack of co-operation with the complaints process and failure to comply with the Head of Redress award. This decision has been ratified by the board.
Sean Hooker commented “Failure to pay an award, however large or small, is a serious breach of our Terms of Reference. Agents must not assume that the complaint will go away if they remain silent and refuse to engage with the scheme.”
Jordan Residential must now face the consequences of being expelled from the Property Redress Scheme – as there is a memorandum of understanding set up between the redress schemes, they will not be able to join any scheme until the terms of the Head of Redress’ decision have been met. Property Agent’s cannot legally trade without a redress scheme membership in place.
About the Property Redress Scheme
The Property Redress Scheme is a new, straightforward and easy to use consumer redress (ombudsman) scheme for Property Agents and Professionals.
The main purposes of the Property Redress Scheme are to allow Agents to comply with their legal requirement to be a member of a government authorised consumer redress scheme and to settle or resolve complaints made by consumers against our Members.
We are authorised by the Department for Communities and Local Government to offer redress to Lettings and Property Management Agents and the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (formally the OFT) to offer redress to Estate Agents.
Although only in operation since July 2014 the Property Redress Scheme now has over 3,900 registered offices.