Estate Agents handling the sales of residential property must* register with an Ombudsman scheme, providing consumers with a free, independent review of complaints. The two approved Ombudsman are: The Property Ombudsman and Ombudsman Services Ltd. There is no such legal requirement for Lettings.
Referenceline lists agents registered with The Property Ombudsman (TPO) or with the Guild of Professional Estate Agents.
Sales Agents - TPO
Estate Agents registered with TPO can undertake to follow the TPO's Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents. Referenceline conducts monthly customer satisfaction surveys of a random sample of 110 TPO member agents every month. Agents may also subscribe to Referenceline's service and invite all of their customers to give their feedback. In either case, the results are shown here, so you can search for recommended estate agents and read their customer ratings and reviews.
Lettings Agents - TPO
The Property Ombudsman also operates a Code for Residential Lettings and Property Management. Referenceline does not conduct a mandatory survey of lettings agents, but some individual TPO members choose to use Referenceline voluntarily.
The Guild of Professional Estate Agents
Agents registered with the Guild of Professional Estate Agents must be members either of the Property Ombudsman or of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and must also follow the Guild's own Code of Practice. With effect from the start of 2013, the Guild is inviting its members to collect feedback from all buyers and sellers using Referenceline's independent service.
*: The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 (CEARA).