Agent reported by Ombudsman to industry regulator after complaints by public

An agent which has been the subject of reviews strongly warning people against using the firm has been reported to industry regulator the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team.

The agent has also been the subject of a number of complaints to The Property Ombudsman. Told to pay awards to those whose complaints have been upheld, it has failed to do so.

Lee Clarke, who heads up Berkshire Estate Agents, is proving hard to contact, making it difficult to give his side of the story.

The premises of Berkshire Estate Agents, in Slough, were apparently empty when the Daily Mirror – which has run a story on it – sent a journalist to visit.

The telephone went unanswered when EYE called yesterday.

Although Rightmove was yesterday carrying both sales and rentals listings for Berkshire Estate Agents, it appeared that the latest ones were placed some weeks ago.

On allAgents, the reviews appear to be either the full five stars or the lowest one star, with almost nothing in between.

The five star reviews lavish praise on the agent’s service, with positive comment on its fees. However, the one star reviews are damning, including one placed on November 29 alleging that “all positive reviews are fake”.

Another review placed by a landlord on the same date claims “serious shortcomings” and that all issues in his complaint to The Property Ombudsman were upheld.

This review received a comment from someone who said that they have also escalated their complaint to TPO.

Another reviewer, a tenant, claims to be owed an £800 deposit.

Other reviews suggest landlords steer clear “at all costs”.

The Mirror said that one landlord is owed £3,883 in rent, and another is owed over five months of rent amounting to over £4,000.

Another landlord claimed that the tenant’s deposit had not been protected.

A spokesperson for TPO said it had received several complaints about Berkshire Estate Agents.

“TPO has also reported them to Slough Trading Standards and to NTSEAT,” said the spokesperson.

On Companies House, Clarke, 40, is named as the only director of Berkshire Estate Agents.

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fury-berkshire-estate-agents-refuses-13690544

www.allagents.co.uk/berkshire-estate-agents/

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3 Comments

  1. DASH94

    I’m not defending this agent at all – but I don’t like the idea of customer reviews being used as any sort of evidence or meaningful reason to launch investigations.

     

    If reviews were totally to be believed, I’d be a forger, a crook, a bully and also, randomly, owned by another estate in this town.

     

     

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    1. Bless You

      Sounds a lot like a purple agent I know

      Report
  2. Strings

    Hi DASH94, I was one of those landlords who were defrauded by Lee Clarke and Berkshire Estate Agents Ltd.  Luckily I submitted my formal complaint to the TPO last year and after over a year of waiting, received the money owed. 

    The practice of defrauding Landlords had been ongoing for years.  Trading Standards were not interested and neither were Action Fraud or the Police. The TPO were unable to take action until he stopped paying awards.  Now they’ve taken action. In this case, the weight of evidence behind the customer reviews has resulted in some momentum; finally. Sadly this is too little too late for some Landlords, who are still out of pocket to the tune of £thousands.  

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