The Property Ombudsman’s (TPO) annual report suggests that the thorny issue of landlord and tenant disputes is on the rise.
According to its data, the number of complaints to the consumer protection organisation in relation to property rose by three per cent in 2017. The increase came as the TPO received a total of 3,658 grievances and made financial awards, worth £1.36 million in all, in just over two thirds of these cases.
The rental sector saw 2,212 formal lettings complaints over the course of the year. This represented an 11 per cent increase on 2016.
Of these, the figures shows that 49 per cent of complaints were made by landlords, while 45 per cent were made by tenants.
The report listed the top three cited reasons for disputes within the rental sector as:
- Poor management
- Communication and record-keeping issues
- Problems with tenancy agreements, inventories and deposits
Greater London was the region with the highest volume of rental-related grievances at 23 per cent, followed by the South East with 20 per cent and the North West on 11 per cent.
The Property Ombudsman, Katrine Sporle, said of the overall rise in complaints: “We agree with Government that there are gaps in the current provision of consumer redress within the property sector which need addressing and, together with industry and consumer partners, we are keen to play our part in regulation and redress reform.”
Property disputes can often be complex and, if not acted upon swiftly, can be costly. If you or your clients require advice and support, please contact us.