TPO looking for a new Property Ombudsman

The current Ombudsman, Katrine Sporle, is giving up the role in November after five years in the post.

The closing date for applicants is February 18

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Established in 1990, the Property Ombudsman (TPO) is a government approved scheme providing fair, free and independent redress in relation to disputes between consumers and property agents. Responding last year to nearly 30,000 enquiries, and instructing agents to pay over £2 million of awards, TPO is the primary source of industry standards and consumer redress in an industry with widespread consumer impact. 

TPO is proud of its reputation, its strong connections with policy makers and its focus on quality, rigour and reach. However, operating in a competitive landscape, and in a sector which touches the lives of millions of people, means that TPO is not an organisation that can ever afford to stand still.  The head of the current Ombudsman, Katrine Sporle, stepping down in 2020 after 5 years outstanding service, TPO are looking for an outstanding leader to fulfil this key leadership role, and continue to take the organisation forward.   

TPO’s new Ombudsman will play a critical role in raising the profile of the organisation and its work, improving its performance, impact and influence, and ensuring that it has the culture, partnerships and resources in place to be sustainable over the long term. They will nurture, develop and inspire TPO’s staff team, based predominantly at the Head Office in Salisbury, and represent TPO externally, including to sector leaders, policy makers, the media and a range of other cross-sector audiences.  

TPO would welcome applications for this role from people with strategic and operational leadership credentials, and a strong track record in external engagement roles and influencing policy. We need an Ombudsman with a confident and sensitive leadership style, who can motivate and energise our people and stakeholders. An understanding of redress and ombudsman services and/or of the property sector is highly desirable.  

Saxton Bampfylde Ltd is acting as an employment agency advisor to the Property Ombudsman on this appointment.  For further information about the role, including details about how to apply, please visit using reference QAQDB.  Alternatively telephone +44 (0)20 7227 0880(during office hours).  Applications should be received by noon on Tuesday 18 February 2020.

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US tech giants pledge billions of dollars in housing development

As the tech industry has boomed, home prices and asking rents in such areas for example the Bay Area have roughly doubled over the past decade, becoming by many counts the highest in the US.

Last month, the San Francisco Association of Realtors said the median home price in San Francisco had hit $1.4m. The average asking rent exceeded $3,200 per month, according to research firm Moody’s Analytics-Reis.

RVs line Bay Road in East Palo Alto, California

Wages in the area have increased as well, but not as fast as housing costs.

A family needs to earn $126,800 a year to rent a typical two-bedroom property in San Francisco without spending more than 30% of their income – the share typically considered affordable. In 2017, about 40% of Bay Area renters spent more.

The high costs are forcing companies to pay more and work harder to find staff, one reason the tech firms have taken an interest.

For the most part, their pledges aren’t philanthropy.

Apple is lending the state up to $1bn to help finance affordable housing projects and providing $1bn to California’s first-time homebuyer fund.

Painted Ladies in Alamo Square, Victorian-style houses in the residential area of San Francisco with downtown in the background,

Google and Facebook also plan to invest hundreds of millions in new housing. Land owned by the tech companies that will be made available for housing construction accounts for another major part of the commitments – a full $750m worth in Google’s case.

Such large promises are “unprecedented”, but a lack of detail makes them hard to evaluate, says Carol Galante, director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

“It’s in their self-interest but it’s also obviously in the community’s interest.”

Multinational businesses all over the world should borrow a leaf from this and invest in housing to solve the global housing crisis.

Source: BBC News


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Property Purchase: What does tenants in common & joint tenants ownership means?

In UK property purchase in spite of the word ‘tenants’, this has nothing to do with renting the property. It’s all to do with what happens if one of the property owner dies.

Joint tenants – If your names are written on the deeds as ‘joint tenants’ then if one of you dies the other one (the survivor) gets the whole of the property straight away.

Tenants in common – If your names are written on the deeds as ‘tenants in common’ then if one of you dies, the will is examined to see what should happen to their share. If there is no will, there are rules about this and they should be followed. Tenants in common is usually used where either party has children by a previous relationship and wants to make sure that on their death, their share of the house goes to their children.

If one person is putting more than the other then as tenants in common you can hold it in unequal shares for example 70 per cent to one, 30 per cent to the other. However in this case you should consider drawing up a Trust Deed as well to protect your interest. It is best to seek professional and legal advice.



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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

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