Estate Agency: consumers

Estate Agency: consumers

Get advice

We don’t give consumer advice, or get involved with resolving disputes or complaints against businesses. 

You can get consumer advice from the Citizen's Advice website, or its consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

You can contact us if you have information which you think we should investigate.

Ombudsman Redress Schemes

If you have a dispute with an estate agent about a residential property you may be able to take up your complaint with one of the two UK redress schemes:

You can find out which scheme your estate agent belongs to by searching for them on these websites.

All estate agents who deal with residential property must belong to one of these schemes. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is used to resolve disputes between consumers and traders without going to court. 

The two main types of ADR are:

  • mediation, where an independent third party helps parties arrive at a mutually agreed outcome
  • arbitration, where an independent third party makes a decision based on the facts which can be binding on either parties


The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) regulations:

  • require businesses that sell to consumers to provide certain information
  • establish competent authorities to certify ADR schemes 
  • set criteria that ADR scheme applicants must meet to gain certification
  • ADR providers who want to get certification must meet certain standards with regard to independence, impartiality, and quality of expertise

The regulations don’t make it mandatory for traders to belong to an ADR scheme. However, most businesses who sell to consumers must point them to a certified ADR scheme, if a complaint isn’t resolved between the trader and consumer

We are a competent authority for the purposes of the ADR regulations within the UK.

There are currently two organisations who are approved as Alternative Dispute Resolution providers:

How to buy and sell a home

The government's how to buy and how to sell guides gives homeowners an overview of the process of buying and selling a home.

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