The law of averages dictates that if you’ve tangled with an estate agent to conduct business, you’ve most likely been burned in some fashion (whether you realise it or not is another question altogether).
Unfortunately, there are very real reasons for why complaints against Estate Agents are consistently high and often record breaking year after year, and consequently one of the most despised professions.
I’ve dealt with many agents over the years; many have been pleasant and professional, while the majority have been total idiots, providing terrible services at extortionate prices. Sound familiar? Join the queue…
Before I get into into the meat of potatoes, I want to clarify that this blog post is specifically for making complaints against estate agents, there’s a separate blog post if you’re looking for guidance and information on how to apply heat on letting agents.
What you should do if you’re displeased your estate agent’s service!
Step 1: Talk to your estate agent
First and foremost, before throwing your toys out of the pram (although, I appreciate that ship may have sailed at this point if you’re reading this blog post), you should sit down with your estate agent and discuss your concerns.
In many cases, showing your agent that you’re not satisfied with their lousy donkey service should be enough for them to put things right, or at least try to.
Step 2: Follow their internal complaints procedure
If the sit down doesn’t go as planned (i.e. you’re still receiving an unsatisfactory donkey service, and essentially nothing has changed), you should pursue their internal complaints procedure (most reputable estate agents will have one). This will usually entail completing a report and lodging a formal complaint, which is then handled by senior management.
Step 3: Lodge your complaint with the Property Ombudsman
No luck with dealing with matters internally?
Okay, well now we call in the big guns.
It is a legal requirement for all UK estate agents to belong to one of the following government approved independent redress schemes:
Simply, a Redress Scheme is a scheme which allows consumers to escalate their complaint(s) they have against one of their members.
You should find out which scheme your agent has joined (it could be both). Normally, you can find out by looking on your agent’s website. Alternatively, you can ask your agent directly, or contact the schemes’ directly to get verification.
Once you have verified which scheme your agent has joined, you can follow their complaints procedure. On receipt of your complaint, a Case Assessor will first check that you have grounds for complaint and if so, they will then investigate the matter further and handle accordingly. This could result in the scheme taking court action against your agent.
If your agent has not joined a scheme (don’t be surprised if they haven’t), you can report them to the local Trading Standards Office.
If I documented every bad experience I’ve had with an agent, this website would be consumed by my misery, and that wouldn’t be fun for anyone. However, I have documented a few, and below is where you’ll find them, including tips and tricks for when using estate agents, so you can get the best out of them…