Agent expelled from the PRS
Jordan Residential, an agent based in South Croydon has been expelled from membership with the Property Redress Scheme following non-compliance with a Head of Redress decision by failing to make an award of £612.80 to a complainant.
A complaint was received from a tenant regarding a holding deposit.
The tenant had a viewing at a property which was advertised by Jordan Residential as three bedroom, however on arrival it was found that it actually only had two bedrooms and a converted lounge. The tenant was then pressured and rushed into paying a £600 deposit without being explained the reason for this deposit and whether it was refundable.
The tenant then decided, upon reflection that they were not happy with the arrangement and informed the agent within 24 hours that they would only accept the property at a lower rent based on a two bedroom property in the same area, this offer was verbally refused by the agent and no further correspondence was given to the tenant after this conversation. Further communication was then ignored as the tenant sent two letters to the agent, by recorded delivery in an attempt to resolve the issue but had no response or acknowledgement.
It was deemed by the Head of Redress that the retention of the tenants holding deposit in this situation was unfair due to:
- The Tenant pulling out of the tenancy before the relevant costs covered by the holding deposit had actually been incurred by the Agent.
- The Agent had not yet taken the property off the market so the Landlord had not suffered any loss by the property being held.
- The property did not conform to its description.
On this decision Jordan Residential was instructed to pay £612.80 to the Complainant in lieu of the Holding Deposit and recorded delivery costs from the unanswered letters which has not been paid to date.
In addition to not paying the awarded fee, Jordan Residential has not acknowledged the PRS complaints process or tried to deal with the matter as a genuine claim as they received no communication or evidence from the agent and they have also fail to pay the complaint subscription fees to the scheme.
Jordan Residential have had their membership suspended pending further investigation by the Head of Redress.
The recommendation to the Board of the Property Redress Scheme was that Jordan Residential be expelled from the scheme due to the lack of co-operation with the complaints process and failure to comply with the Head of Redress award.
Sean Hooker PRS chief executive commented “Failure to pay an award, however large or small, is a serious breach of our Terms of Reference. Agents must not assume that the complaint will go away if they remain silent and refuse to engage with the scheme.”
Jordan Residential must now face the consequences of being expelled from the PRS as now they cannot join any other scheme until the terms of the decision have been met, leaving the agent unable to legally trade without a redress scheme in place.
Find the original story here.