By Bea Patel, TLE Property Editor and Director of Shop for an Agent
Today, The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has issued amended and updated versions of all its Codes of Practice for UK and Scotland, to support the introduction of new legislation that has come into force within the last 12 months. The review process involved trade associations, representatives from large and smaller agents in both sales and lettings and a representative from The Property Ombudsman’s independent Council.
The Property Ombudsman scheme, an independent and impartial dispute resolution service assists consumers who cannot resolve their disputes with a registered agent. A registered agent includes:
- Residential Estate Agents.
- Residential Letting Agents.
- Residential Leasehold Management.
- Commercial and Business Agents
- Residential Buying Agents
- Property Buying Companies
- Auctions and Chattels
- International Property Agents
- Search Providers
The Property Ombudsman can provide redress to place the consumer back in the position they were before the complaint arose, achieving a full and final settlement of the dispute. If appropriate, they can compensate up to £25,000 for actual and quantifiable loss and/or for aggravation, distress and/or inconvenience caused by the actions of a registered agent.
Christopher Hamer, The Property Ombudsman, says: “The decision was taken to carry out a full review of the Codes to reflect continuing market developments, and the obligations now placed on agents by various pieces of legislation that have been enacted, such as the Consumer Rights Act. Changes under the Deregulation Act which start today (1st October) have also been integrated into the new set of Codes, providing comprehensive guidance to our member agents on the new regime.”
The Property Ombudsman has revised all their Codes of Practice. When reviewing consumer complaints, they will apply the new Codes of Practice if the event occurred after 1st October 2015.