Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ombudsman System `Is Working Well'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ombudsman System `Is Working Well'

Article excerpt

A new code of practice for estate agents is working well, says the chairman of the Ombudsman for Estate Agents.

Gillian Shephard MP was speaking after the report on grievances from buyers and sellers was published.

Complaints against estate agents have reached record levels, according to the report.

But Mrs Shephard said: "Our new code of practice, which is fully compliant with the core principles laid down by the Office of Fair Trading, has now been launched.

"By the end of the year, OEA intends to gain the Good Trader status and logo which will be used by national brands."

Some 6,462 buyers and sellers were dissatisfied with the service they received and took their grievances to the Ombudsman for Estate Agents. The figure represents a 16.2pc rise from 2001, when 5,562 complaints were made.

The number of complaints which led to a full investigation by the Ombudsman rose to a record 583, compared to 551 last year.

A total of 239 cases were found in favour of the estate agent and against the complainant, such as the woman who said she should have been told that the owner of a property she was buying was about to be convicted for murder. …

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