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TPO Member News - July *Special Announcement*

Fantastic news! Tickets for TPO’s 2016 Conference are now available! This edition features the latest news concerning the Conference and includes some important industry best practice.  

TPO Conference: Tickets go live!

TPO 2016 Conference: Raising Standards (Wednesday 12th October 2016)
We’re delighted to confirm that Tickets for TPO’s 2016 Conference have been officially launched on

Book now to receive a discount!
TPO member agents can now reserve their place and book tickets by visiting our online Ticket website.
This special offer entitles TPO member agents to reserve their place at the conference for &70*. This discounted offer is available for a limited time only.

Solihull’s National Motorcycle Museum, now known as the National Conference Centre, will play host once again to this year’s event, which promises to be an exceptional day with more workshops, key note speakers and a new ‘Expert Panel’ on the agenda, featuring a host of high profile and prominent names. To view the Conference programme, please click here.

Did you know? TPO supports professional development and delegates can claim 4 hours CPD by attending this year’s Conference.

To reserve your place, please visit and follow the ‘Registration’ instructions.
Once you’ve signed up and purchased your ticket, further details concerning the programme for the day will be released, along with regular updates to keep you informed of developments in the build up to the event.

Did you know? Delegate tickets include free entry to the adjacent National Motorcycle Museum, which houses the largest collection of British motorcycle’s in the world with over 1,000 machines from 171 different manufacturers spanning three centuries.

We look forward to seeing you in October. 

*Plus VAT

Speakers confirmed! TPO's Conference programme is revealed

TPO’s 2016 Conference programme is now officially available to view on

Tim Wakelin will once again compere the event and under his expert stewardship, we will start the day with a welcome and introduction from Gerry Fitzjohn, TPO’s Chairman of the Board.

We’re delighted to announce that the first key note speaker is Tony Anderson, a world-class marketing expert, guest lecturer and BBC commentator, who will be delivering a talk on ‘Distinctive Marketing’ for delegates. Tony’s resume includes global brands such as British Airways, Thomas Cook and easyJet, where he worked closely with founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou to launch and build a firm which has become a major force in European aviation.

This year’s event will also feature a new Expert Panel for a live discussion on the main stage. Facilitated by Tim Wakelin, the panel will comprise of Kate Faulkner (Property Expert), Mark Hayward (Managing Director, National Association of Estate Agents), Leon Livermore (Chief Executive, Chartered Trading Standards Institute), James Munro (Team Leader, National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team) and Eric Walker (Managing Director, Northwood).

Following the success of last year’s event and positive delegate feedback, we have expanded the workshop session so delegates can experience real-life scenarios for sales and lettings, which will be facilitated by Katrine Sporle, Ombudsman and Jane Erskine, Casework Director.

Katrine Sporle will round-up the day and deliver a final talk, before opening the floor for delegates to network, meet exhibitors and visit the adjacent Motorcycle museum.

To view the programme in full, please visit

Ticket offer: To claim your ‘Early Bird’ discount, please register online

Further news and developments concerning the conference will be released over the coming weeks on TPO’s website.

TPO backs new toolkit to tackle rogue agents

The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPO) has lent its full support to a new initiative to help Local Authorities take action against rogue letting agents who fail to comply with the law.

The National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) collaborated with a number of local councils* and industry experts to create the Effective Enforcement Toolkit, which is designed to assist local authority enforcement officers to take effective action against letting agents that have failed to:

• Register with a government-approved redress scheme
• Display their fees, redress scheme membership and client money protection status.

Commenting on the toolkit, Ombudsman Katrine Sporle, said: “This is great news for the Private Rented Sector and one that we whole heartedly support. We welcome all practical help for local authorities in our combined quest to raise standards and ensure transparency in the industry.

“Last year, the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT) launched a similar toolkit for the sales market, so it is good to see that local authorities will now have step-by-step guidance of the legalities and requirements for regulating letting agents.

“In particular, the Private Rented Sector toolkit highlights the need for letting agents to display their fees and redress scheme membership. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 requires all letting agents to display the fees they charge to landlords and tenants, as well as which redress scheme they are a member of. There is a small minority of agents who still don’t comply with current legislation, so having these tools in place to enforce requirements effectively will help to tackle rogue activity within the industry.”

The toolkit includes:
• Warning letters to letting agents who are failing to comply with legal duties
• Advice on serving civil penalties
• Guidance on how to highlight enforcement action to the local media

Created by PRS experts Richard Tacagni from housing consultancy London Property Licensing and Fiona Exley from London Trading Standards, eight* local authorities also provided helpful information, advice and examples of good practice that contributed to the development of the toolkit.

*Bristol City Council, Enfield Council, Islington Council, Newham Council, Powys County Council (National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team), Sheffield City Council, Westminster City Council, York City Council.

Ombudsman congratulates TPO winners…

The Property Ombudsman has praised the winners at this year’s prestigious Lettings Agency of the Year Awards, which reward best practice in the industry.

This year’s event welcomed Katrine Sporle to oversee the judging panel of independent industry experts.

Commenting on the awards, Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman, said: “It was an enormous privilege to chair the judging of these coveted awards. The process itself was incredibly rigorous and all entrants and winners should be very proud of their achievements. I was hugely impressed by the quality and quantity of entries as well as the time, effort and expertise given by the judges. I would like to send my congratulations to all the winners.”

The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards recognises the very best lettings agents from throughout the UK, including independents, franchises and large chains, and is the only awards event solely focused on lettings.

Did you know? The majority of winners this year were members of The Property Ombudsman (TPO), with 78% of winners following TPO’s independently accredited Residential Lettings Code of Practice, which aims to raise standards in the property industry.

Katrine added: “I was delighted to see so many TPO agents receive an award for their hard work and dedication to the industry. 39 gold awards were presented to our members recognising them as being the best of the best in their category which is exceptional.

"Awards such as these help to celebrate success, they raise reputation and encourage others to do the same. Long may it continue.”

To view a full list of winners, please visit

How do you display yours?

Lettings fees were a hot topic a national Conference hosted by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) last month.

The event attracted Trading Standards Officers from across the country, with many delegates reporting that plans were underway to carry out more spot checks and impose fines for any firm that fails to display:

• Details of the fees they charge
• Whether or not they are a member of a client money protection scheme
• Details of the redress scheme they have joined and the new* 12 month timescale for referring disputes

Local Authorities have now received a new toolkit*, backed by TPO, to help more Trading Standards Officers impose fines against any agent in England and Wales that fails to meet these requirements, which were enforced last year as part of a raft of new consumer regulations.

We urge all members to review their branch windows, printed materials and websites, to ensure they comply.

Member checklist:

We’ve published a checklist below to ensure you pass any visit from your local Trading Standards Office with flying colours…

• The new regulations state firms must display the name and contact details of their ADR provider. Please ensure your TPO membership is stated in your contract terms, along with a link to the scheme’s website (
• Trading Standards Officers have been looking at company websites so please ensure TPO’s name and website address is featured on your website so consumers know where they can refer a complaint to

TPO’s Terms of Membership also state that members are required to:

• Prominently display the TPO logo in the window of every branch office
• Ensure TPO’s logo features on the agent’s marketing literature, advertisements, letterheads and any terms of business/service contracts
• Make copies of TPO’s latest Codes of Practice and the TPO Consumer Guide available in every office

Agent fines: recent press articles
Agents fined after not signing up to redress scheme
Letting agents facing action over failure to sign up to redress scheme
Trading Standards check 202 agencies' redress memberships
Council's new powers to fine agents flouting redress schemes