The agent, Property 24/7 which is based in the Isle of Dogs in London, also appears to not be registered with a deposit protection scheme.
Being a member of a government-approved redress scheme and a member of a client money protection scheme are both legal requirements for estate agents to trade.
There is an active proposal to strike Property 24/7 off the Companies House register and the firm will not be allowed to register with either redress scheme until it pays the £500.
As a result, TPO is warning customers about the firm.
Tenant complaints upheld
Tenants complained to The Property Ombudsman that Property24/7 had failed to register their deposit with a deposit protections scheme within 30 days, did not communicate with the landlord over the tenants’ requirements for furnishings and pre-tenancy repairs, and failed to respond to their communications.
Property 24/7 did not cooperate with TPO’s review of the case, in that it did not provide its branch file. The ombudsman supported all three elements of the case and made an award of £500.
The agent’s membership of TPO had ceased at the date of review but the events occurred during its period of TPO membership.
Membership was then reinstated upon payment of renewal within the grace period.
Property 24/7 failed to pay the award and the ombudsman referred the agent to the scheme’s independent compliance committee, which ruled it should be expelled.
Warning for future
Gerry Fitzjohn, non-executive director and chairman of TPO’s finance committee said: “As a member of TPO, agents are obliged to comply with awards made by the Ombudsman, which Property 24/7 has failed to do.
“While the company’s website www.property-247.com no longer appears active, we want to make consumers aware in case they appear to start trading again.
“It is also a reminder to consumers to ensure they also use an agent which is a member of a redress scheme and holds client money protection.”