The redress scheme which formally quit the housing sector admits some estate agencies may have missed its deadline - and are thus acting illegally by not being in a registered Ombudsman-style service.
Ombudsman Services yesterday formally left the housing market, after giving six months notice at the start of this year.
But yesterday a spokeswoman for the scheme issued a statement saying: “It’s possible that a small number of companies may have missed the deadline. If your company falls into this category, our advice would be to register as soon as possible with either The Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme.”
Nicolette Granite continues: “During the past six months we have worked closely with stakeholders including the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team.”
She adds that any complaint received yesterday - the final day the service worked in the housing sector - would be dealt with as normal. “Consumers can be assured that, if their complaint falls within our terms of reference and was accepted by us on or before 6 August, it will be investigated through to resolution” she says.
The not-for-profit organisation, which is one of the UK’s largest multi-sector ombudsman scheme providers, says the current system of housing redress is overly complex and confusing for consumers.
Ombudsman Services has echoed the government’s call for a single ombudsman across the housing and property sector.