A solicitor will keep you informed throughout the process and will notify you when you are required to sign documentation to avoid delays to your move. Paperwork delays are a common problem in house moving chains and an effective property lawyer will help avoid hold-ups.
Your estate agent has a legal obligation to act professionally on your behalf. If you feel misled, mistreated or fear illegal activity has taken place, you’re within your rights to officially complain.
In many cases following a complaint, an estate agent will do what they can to resolve any issues and any problems will be rectified successfully. In the event that you wish to take a complaint further, there’s plenty of info and guidance to help you do so.
Estate agents must not deliberately mislead any property seller or potential buyer. These are the rules all estate agents are expected to adhere to (see the Estate Agents Act 1979 and Unfair Contract Terms Act):
If you wish to pursue your complaint and take it beyond an agent’s internal procedures, the next step is to take your case to The Property Ombudsman. This body will hear your complaint and refer it for investigation and review. Any awards given in favour of the customer are usually relatively small, between £100-£500, but the award rate is pretty high with around 40% being granted a redress.
Most agents are also members of the national Association of Estate Agent (NAEA) or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). If an agency is in breach of a code of practice or rules of membership they can face disciplinary action.