Estate Agent Dispute: The Role of the Ombudsman

The Property Ombudsman is typically your last resort when resolving dispute involving estate agents. If you think that your estate agent acted improperly or unfairly even though they acted within the law, you need to take action.


Even then, you need to give the agency a chance to resolve the issue through their internal complaints procedure before involving the Property Ombudsman. Here is what the estate agent dispute resolution entails:

  • Complain to the estate agent through their internal complaints procedure

A good estate agency or sell house fast company will have a reliable internal procedure of addressing complaints from their clients. Therefore, begin by complaining through the procedures that are laid out and allow them to investigate and possibly resolve the complaint.

For this to be effective, you will need to do the following:

  • Dig out copies of emails, letters, documentation as well as recordings or notes of all the significant conversations that you may have had with your estate agent.
  • Be sure to ask for the code of conduct and internal complaints policy of your estate agent
  • Have your complaint in writing, addressing it to the local manager while clearly stating where they have violated the code of conduct. Ensure you are as explicit as possible in bringing out what was inappropriate.
  • Clearly state your expectations in terms of what you would like to be done about the complaint. This is advisable because you are likely to get redress than when you do not.
  • Provide copies of relevant documentation to support your allegations.
  • Request for a written confirmation of the name of the person handling your complain as well as what they intend to do in finding a solution to your complaint.
  • Wait for a response. This usually takes up to 15 days.

Should there be no solution coming from your estate agent, you will need to consider the next course of action.

  • Complain to the Property Ombudsman

There are two bodies that primarily offer free, fair as well as independent dispute resolution services between you and estate agents. These bodies have laid down codes of practice that members must abide by. Both buyers and sellers of residential property can refer cases to these two bodies for investigation and arbitration, which is their main job.

The Property Ombudsman needs to conduct impartial and fair investigations by listening to both sides of the story as well as looking into the facts after which they may decide what action is appropriate. Thus, every estate agent needs to register with either of the two bodies.

  • Complain to the Estate Agents Trade Association or Professional Body

Estate agents need to join one of the two trade associations or a professional body. In fact, this information should be provided through brochures and other paperwork. This way, you will be able to reach out to their association to address your complaint. When an agent is in breach of the code of practice or rules of membership, they may be subject to disciplinary action. Currently, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is the main professional body.

Thus, if your estate agent aggrieves you, do not keep quiet. Let them know about it and is they do not address your complaint, you can then seek help from the professional organizations discussed above.