10,200 Estate agents join Ombudsman scheme

The Ombudsman for Estate Agents has reported rocketing membership numbers and now boasts over 10,200 full members.

The trade body has seen 2,500 residential estate agency offices join since the beginning of the year.

Christopher Hamer, ombudsman for estate agents, says a recent recruitment drive revealed there were far more estate agency offices in England and Wales than had been officially estimated, and around 13,000 offices had been contacted.

He says: “The OEA now covers 80% of residential estate agents in England and Wales and my next target is to in-crease coverage in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“When I took over this role in December last year, I promised I would reach out to firms that had yet to join and I am vigorously following this up.

He adds: “The expansion of the OEA scheme in the past 18 months or so is great news for consumers and the industry.”

Since his appointment, Hamer has found in favour of two-thirds of complainants. But he says rising membership numbers show a commitment to raising industry standards,

Hamer says: “The OEA scheme covers lettings as well as sales and I would urge all consumers to ensure any agency they deal with, whether buying, selling or letting property, has the OEA logo displayed on its premises.”

Christopher Lacy, director of Savills Estate Agency, says: “Savills is pleased to be part of a nationwide re-dress scheme that is now clearly the principal scheme of this sort for the residential property market in the UK, giving reassurance about independent complaints resolution for buyers and sellers.”