Agents must comply with any award and/or direction made by the Ombudsman against them and pay the Complainant the amount of any such award, if accepted by the Complainant, within the period for payment required by the Ombudsman.
Cases of non-compliance are taken very seriously and are dealt with by the Disciplinary and Standards Committee (DSC) of the TPO Council. The DSC was established by the TPO Council to deal with the small number of member agents who breach the relevant Codes of Practice and/or fail to meet their obligations as TPO members in other ways.
The Ombudsman refers cases to the DSC where he has found a serious breach of the Codes of Practice or where an agent fails to pay an award. A range of disciplinary action can be taken including expulsion from the Ombudsman scheme.
Agents are reminded that they cannot avoid paying awards by jumping from one scheme to another. Under the guidance of the Department for Communities and Local Government, the three approved redress schemes will not accept into membership any agent that does not meet its obligations to another scheme.
This means if an agent is expelled from TPO membership, they will be unable to join another redress scheme until they have met their obligations to TPO. Meaning, if they continue to trade without membership to a redress scheme, they would be doing so illegally because it is a mandatory requirement for both sales and lettings agents to belong to a redress scheme.
Once an agent pays an outstanding award, they are free to join another scheme.