The body responsible for licensing and regulating the property-services sector in Ireland has reported a drop in complaints made to it last year.
Professions covered by the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) include estate agents, auctioneers, letting agents and management agents.
According to its annual report, the authority received 205 complaints from members of the public last year – a fall of almost 20% compared with 2021.
In more than half of cases, the complaint was linked to dissatisfaction with the service provided.
More than 60% were concluded without the need for the PRSA to appoint an inspector to conduct an investigation, while 66 were concluded after an investigation.
According to the PSRA, minor sanctions – including warnings, cautions or reprimands – were imposed in 46 cases where improper conduct was found, while a major sanction was imposed in two cases.
One of these cases related to the misappropriation of an owner-management company’s funds by a service provider, who was ordered to pay fines totalling €145,000, which were confirmed by the High Court.
In the second case, the High Court modified the fine imposed by the PSRA on a provider for discrepancies in the letter of engagement.
By the end of 2022, 95 complaints were still open, with 63 at inspection phase and 32 still being assessed.
The PSRA processed 5,775 applications last year – down from 5,909 in 2021.
Of the 500 new licence applications received, 411 were issued, 32 withdrawn and 21 refused. The remainder were still under consideration at the end of 2022.
The authority is chaired by Michael Quinlan, a former president of the Law Society.