TPO announces new Property Ombudsman, Katrine Sporle CBE

Monday, September 21st, 2015 - The Property Ombudsman

From 1 November 2015, Katrine Sporle CBE will take up the role of Ombudsman at The Property Ombudsman, taking over from her predecessor Christopher Hamer, whose nine-year term comes to an end on 30 November.

Katrine Sporle’s role as the new Property Ombudsman is to impartially review complaints made by members of the public against agents, based on the evidence submitted. The scheme provides an independent and impartial dispute resolution service.

Where the Ombudsman is satisfied that the actions of an agent have disadvantaged a complainant, and taking into account relevant TPO Codes of Practice, she will determine appropriate redress, which can include compensation of up to £25,000 for loss, aggravation, distress or inconvenience caused by the actions of a registered agent.

Early this month, London Property Licensing reported that TPO had expelled a sales and letting agent based in Notting Hill Gate for a minimum of two years after they failed to comply with the TPO Codes of Practice (read here).

About Katrine Sporle CBE

Katrine Sporle was previously Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales (2003-2011), which involved being responsible for all aspects of the Government Executive Agency, 1000 members of staff and a £60m budget.

She was directly answerable to Parliament and regularly reported to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CLG), and the Minister for Housing and Planning in the National Assembly for Wales. “The scope for influence on the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of the nation as a whole was enormous, and exercised through impartiality of decision making to the highest level of professional expertise” commented Katrine Sporle.

Prior to that, Katrine was Chief Executive of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for eight years, controlling an overall budget of circa £58m. She provided inspirational leadership to develop the potential of the Borough as a whole, gaining a reputation for economic, cultural and social success.

Upon appointment of the new Property Ombudsman, Lord Richard Best OBE, Chairman of the TPO Council since 2009, commented:

Selecting our Ombudsman is a key responsibility of the independent TPO Council and we are truly delighted to have secured someone with the breadth and depth of experience – at local and national levels – which Katrine brings to this role.

Christopher Hamer is a very hard act to follow; but I am confident we have found a great successor. I know all TPO’s members and well-wishers will join me in extending the warmest of welcomes to Katrine when she starts in November.

Bill McClintock, Board Chairman of The Property Ombudsman Scheme added:

I welcome Katrine Sporle as the new Ombudsman and endorse Lord Best’s comments. I believe her broad employment background will be a huge benefit in performing her new role.

At 1 January 2015, over 13,802 sales offices and 12,915 letting offices were registered with TPO. TPO estimate that these figures represent 95% of sales agents and 85% of lettings agents operating within the UK.

For more information about TPO, you can visit their website at where you can also find a full list of registered agents.