OEA to expand in Scotland

The Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OEA) is due to expand in Scotland following the completion of a fact-finding visit by Christopher Hamer, the UK Ombudsman.

Mr Hamer reviewed the country’s property market and assessed the relevance of it to the OEA.

OEA provides mediation and redress assistance through 11,000 estate agency offices in England and Wales. In Scotland, 130 estate agent offices currently benefit from these services.

Commenting on Scotland’s expanding estate agency businesses, Mr Hamer said: "I’ve been told that something like 60 per cent of properties in Glasgow are now marketed through estate agencies."

"In Edinburgh, the situation is very much the reverse with solicitors dominating the property market," he said.

In his role as ombudsman, Mr Hamer has the authority to award a maximum of £25,000 in compensation to complainants.

The OEA Scheme offers an independent service for dealing with disputes between member estate agencies and consumers. The ombudsman is independent of the member agencies and provides a free impartial review of complaints falling within his terms of reference.