How to complain about a mortgage firm

Landlords with a gripe about buy to let mortgage lenders or insurance companies can take their complaint to an independent adjudicator if the provider does not offer a suitable resolution.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an independent, government-appointed consumer champion with a brief to watch out for unfair or sharp practices by financial firms.

Any landlord with a moan about a bank, building society or insurance firm should always try and resolve the issue directly with them first.

If the firm stalls answering or offers an unsatisfactory response, then the FOS is the next step.

Making a complaint

Often the financial firm will send a ‘final response’, ‘letter of deadlock’ or ‘referral rights’.

This is a signal that the firm has reached the end of the complaints procedure and is inviting you to accept their response or take the dispute to the FOS.

Any landlord can speak to the FOS for their take on the dispute, any written complaint prior to a final response will end up with the complaint bounced back to the provider, unless they are taking an unduly long time to resolve the matter.

Once a complaint is accepted, the FOS will investigate the evidence provided by both sides. The FOS web site has forms and advice to help with making a complaint and presenting the evidence.

Capped compensation

Any decision is binding on the company – including any order to pay compensation – but not on the complainant, who can still go to court.

Before going to the FOS, consider how much compensation is involved, because the FOS has capped pay outs and more money may be available by going to court.

The FOS web site does give guidelines about pay outs and case studies of adjudicated cases.

Find out more at the Financial Ombudsman Service web site [Opens in new window]

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