The Property Ombudsman scheme provides a free, fair and independent service for dealing with unresolved disputes between member agents and tenants and landlords of property in the UK.

Member agents must follow the Property Ombudsman Letting Code of Practice. This sets out the framework within which member agents must operate and the standards of service they must provide for both tenants and landlords. The Code is compulsory and member agents are required to have Professional Indemnity Insurance to ensure that any compensation awarded can be paid. The maximum that the Ombudsman can award is £25,000.

The TPO Letting Code of Practice requires agents to meet all their legal obligations when acting as letting agents, but it goes above and beyond that by requiring the agents to adopt and follow ‘best practice’. This includes:

Duty of care. The agent must always work in the best interests of the client, that is to say the person who is paying for the letting agency services (usually the landlord). But the agent must also always treat fairly, and with courtesy, all those involved in the proposed renting or letting. If the agent or one of its staff has any personal or business interest in the property, the landlord must be told.

Impartiality. The agent must make sure that no tenants or landlords are disadvantaged because they are unfamiliar with any aspect of the letting process. An agent will offer the appropriate explanations and assistance to all regardless of age, race, religious belief, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or disability.

Access. The agent must keep accurate records of keys held and inform current tenants of any access required, except in cases of genuine emergency.

I hope that becoming a member of the Property Ombudsman gives a clear indication that I am fully committed to following best practice. Prospective clients can now enjoy the attention to detail and personal service that Piccolo has to offer with the peace of mind and assurance of high standards that membership of the Ombudsman provides.

To welcome new clients, Piccolo is offering 6 months Full Management or Tenant Finding for £100. This offer is valid until the end of April. For more information please call Lou on 01722 580059, email or visit the website at