The Property Ombudsman Christopher Hamer is urging buying agents not to fall foul of the law by failing to register with a redress scheme such as the TPO.
Hamer this week emphasised the need for buying agents to register in his first-ever question-and-answer session on Twitter.
“Both sales agents and buying agents are subject to the same property and consumer protection laws. Consumers on both sides of a property transaction deserve the same levels of protection outlined in The Estate Agents Act 1979 and should be able to use a redress service to resolve disputes if they feel they have been treated unfairly” he says.
It is not known exactly how many buying agencies exist within the UK but the Financial Times esimates there are 500, the majority of which deal with high-end homes in prime central London and the Home Counties.
In addition to independent buying agencies, many high end sales operations such as Strutt & Parker, Knight Frank and Savills have buying divisions; these claim to survey the whole sales market for their buyer clients and not to favour ‘in house’ instructed properties.
Late last year a large number of buying agents signed up to TPO when it was clarified that they faced the same legal obligations as sales agents.