The Importance of Being Professional

March 21, 2012

Northwood UK’s managing director Nick Cooper supports the plea from The Property Ombudsman for improved standards in the lettings industry. 


“Last week The Property Ombudsman* published his Annual Report which renewed his calls for standards to be raised across the lettings industry following an increase in complaints about letting agents.

What’s the reason for this increase in complaints?  In the main, the problem boils down to landlords and tenants choosing unaffiliated letting agents.

With as many as 40% of letting agents NOT registered with any ombudsman scheme, many landlords and tenants are playing a risky game.

Unaffiliated agents don’t have to adhere to a Code of Practice or follow professional practices, so you cannot be sure that they offer the appropriate safeguards to protect your money or that your property will be managed in accordance with strict guidelines.

Recent cases in the news have proved just how high the stakes really are: landlords have lost thousands due to dealings with rogue letting agents.

The message is clear: choose your letting agent wisely.

The Property Ombudsman impresses on landlords to “only use agents that can display the SAFEagent logo which indicates that they are dealing with an agent that has proper Client Money Protection insurance, as well as Professional Indemnity insurance and is a member of an ombudsman scheme.”

Northwood is proud to be a founder member of SAFEagent.  All our systems are checked by Trading Standards annually and we are members of The Property Ombudsman.  Each business is encouraged to be licensed by the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS), one of the sector’s main self-regulatory organisations.

We will continue to strive for excellence, adhere to professional codes of conduct and push the boundaries in training and development.  Through these actions we will be doing our part to follow The Property Ombudsman’s call.

To read the full The Property Ombudsman’s Annual Report visit:


*For those of you who are unfamiliar with the service, The Property Ombudsman provides an independent facility for the resolution of disputes between landlords or tenants and letting agents (not between tenants and landlords).  The Property Ombudsman will consider the dispute after it has been considered by the agent themselves and make a finding on the basis of legal principles, what’s fair and reasonable in the circumstances.  He can make an award of up to £25,000 for compensation (not a fine) for aggravation, distress or inconvenience caused by the actions of an agent.

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