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Estate agent complaints rise but fewer are upheld

The number of complaints about estate and letting agents increased last year but fewer gripes were upheld.

Data based on members of the Property Redress Scheme (PRS) shows there were 1,872 complaint enquiries last year compared with 1,828 in 2020.

That is an increase of 2.4% but the PRS annual report adds that this should be seen in the context of a substantial rise in UK property transactions.


PRS membership numbers were also up 8.97% from 14,932 to 16,272.

Of the complaints, 609 were accepted by the PRS – down 4.7% annually from 639 in 2020.

The total amount of early resolution awards recommended increased by 117.3% to £239,365, while the value of decision awards rose by 104.9% to £351,212, according to the report.

Most of the complaints for sales were about marketing and advertising, letting agents’ clients mainly complained about duty of care and most landlord issues were about property maintenance.

The level of compliance with decisions also increased from 78% in 2020 to 87% in 2021, while 46 agents were expelled from the redress scheme last year.

Sean Hooker, head of redress at the PRS, says: “Despite huge challenges in the property sector for agents of late, we should note that the number of complaints per agent has reduced considerably in net terms. 

“A far greater number of sales and lettings were transacted in 2021 versus 2020 yet complaints made via the PRS rose by just 2.4%.

“I’m delighted that our membership numbers have increased so substantially, taking our total membership to 16,272 and cementing us as the largest lettings redress scheme in the UK now.”

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    Well done to the PRS for putting these figures in all important context, rather than the usual “complaints increase” headline we usually get. Excellent reporting and positive news for the industry.

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    The PRS is head and shoulders above the TPO ! If you're thinking of switching to the PRS just do it........we're glad we did 10 yrs ago.


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