Complaining about an individual body

publication date: Dec 21, 2018
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

How to complain against individual property bodies

House

Here is our guide to complaining against individual bodies - use the list below to jump to the body you need to know about:

Before you continue - read our general guide to complaining about property companies.

Jump to:

How to complain about a surveyor

Top complaints

  • Failure to spot major defects, resulting in financial loss
  • Communication issues

Complaints procedure

  • Request a copy of the complaints procedure from the company (it should be available on the website) which should detail timescales
  • Put your problem in writing, including photos and quotes for remedial work, if applicable. Keep copies of all correspondence
  • Follow the complaints procedure
  • If there is a property defect, a re-inspection may be required
  • If the issue is not resolved, refer it to the relevant redress scheme; either CEDR or The Property Ombudsman 

How to complain about a plumber

Top complaints

  • Problem not fixed
  • Engineers are late
  • Poor customer service

Complaints procedure

  • Write to the company, keeping a copy of all correspondence
  • Ask for details of their formal complaints procedure, or membership of any trade organisations, eg WaterSafe, Checkatrade, NAPIT or CIPHE
  • If the issue is still unresolved, and the company belongs to a redress scheme, refer the complaint to the relevant scheme
  • If they do not, or you cannot find out, contact Citizens Advice

How to complain about an estate of letting agent

According to the Property Ombudsman, the most common complaints about estate agents and letting agents in 2017 were:

  • Communication and record keeping
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Instructions/terms of business/commission/termination
  • Tenancy agreements, inventories and deposits
  • In-house complaints handling

NB: You can’t claim compensation for “frivolous or vexatious complaints” (TPOS, PRS)

Complaints procedure

  • Complain to the agent directly – all agents must have, by law, a complaints procedure, making a note of the date, time and details of the conversation
  • Explain what it is you want the agent to do to put the situation right
  • Take copies of your complaint and ensure you have evidence via an email read receipt or recorded delivery. Keep copies of all correspondence and notes
  • If the issue is unresolved after eight weeks, you can refer the complaint to the relevant redress scheme
  • Find out if they are a member of the Property Ombudsman or The Property Redress Scheme (they are legally obliged to belong to one of the two) they will independently, for free, assess your complaint.

The government is currently analysing feedback on a consultation about improving redress in the housing sector, including the option of introducing a single housing ombudsman. You can read more here.

How to complain about a specialist damp contractor

Top complaints

  • Unnecessary treatment
  • Poor quality of work

Complaints procedure

  • Write to the company, keeping copies of any correspondence
  • Ask for their formal complaints procedure and if they belong to any trade bodies such as the Property Care Association (PCA)
  • Follow the complaints procedure
  • If still unresolved, refer the complaint to PCA or contact Citizens Advice

 

 

How to complain about a search company

Complaints procedure

  • Call or write to the search company about you complaint, keeping copies of all correspondence or a note of the conversation
  • If your issue is unresolved, request their formal complaints procedure and follow it
  • For COPSO members, a formal complaint should be acknowledged within five working days of receipt
  • Complaints should normally be dealt with within 20 working days of receipt – final written response should be sent within 40 days
  • If still unresolved, refer the issue to The Property Ombudsman Scheme via www.tpos.co.uk or call 01722 333306.

 

 

How to complain about about a developer

Top complaints

  • Snagging issues
  • Build quality
  • Scheduling concerns

What to do before you sign the contract

How to deal with problems

Complaints procedure

  • Ask the developer to resolve the problem if the issues occur within the first two years of build
  • If they do not, or do not resolve the problem satisfactorily, ask your legal company to check if the developer is breaking the terms of the contract and seek advice as to what to do next
  • Normally the developer must remedy any problems which arise in the first two years of the property being built
  • If they don’t solve the problem to your satisfaction and it is covered, refer your complaint to the warranty provider, even within the first two years and they will mediate free of charge
  • Problems which are covered and arise after the initial two-year period are normally the responsibility of the warranty provider
  • You can also turn to www.consumercodefornewhomes.com if the developer has signed up to the code, although this costs over £100 and redress is typically less than £250.

NB: Different rules apply for housing association properties.

How to complain about a removal company

Top complaints

  • Damage to goods
  • Breach of contract
  • Unprofessional conduct

Complaints procedure

  • Complain directly to the company, in writing, keeping copies of all correspondence
  • Follow the company’s formal complaints procedure
  • If you moved with a BAR member follow their associations complaints procedure. If not a member of the BAR write directly to the company and rely on current & relevant consumer legislation / protection
 

How to complain about a landlord

Top complaints

  • Delays in responding to repair request
  • Damp and mould
  • Access issues
  • Withholding the deposit

Complaints procedure

The following is for tenants renting direct from a landlord. If you have a problem with a landlord and who uses an agent to manage the property, you should report your problem to the letting agent and see the ‘complain about a letting agent’.
  • Speak to your landlord and make a note of the date and time of the conversation
  • Follow up your conversation in writing, securing a ‘read receipt’ if an email or recorded delivery if by post.
  • Repair requests should be responded to within 14 days
  • If unresolved, you can report the landlord to the housing department in your local authority.
    You can complain about:
  • illegal eviction
  • harassment
  • health and safety concerns
  • dishonest or unfair behaviour  
  • For more help, contact Citizens Advice

How to complain about a park home

Top complaints

  • Breach of agreement
  • Pitch fee changes
  • Damage and repairs to the site

Complaints procedure

How to complain about a gas engineer

Top complaints

  • Problem not fixed
  • Engineers are late
  • Poor customer service

Complaints procedure

  • Visit The Gas Safe Register to check if they are a member
  • If not, they could be working illegally, so report them to the Gas Safe Register
  • If the problem is a safety concern, you should report them to the Gas Safe Register, whether they are a member or not.
  • If safety is not a concern, use the company’s/individuals formal complaints procedure
  • If the issue cannot be resolved, you may refer it to the Gas Safe Register

How to complain about a window or conservatory company

Top complaints

  • Breach of contract
  • Poor work quality

Complaints procedure

  • If they do not belong to any trade organisations, contact Citizens Advice
  • Write to the company, keeping copies of any correspondence
  • Ask for their formal complaints procedure and if they belong to any trade bodies
  • Follow the complaints procedure
  • If still unresolved, refer the complaint to the relevant trade organisation, eg DGCOS, FENSA or Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF)

All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of
Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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