Two rival redress schemes applying to sales and lettings agents are claiming increased business.
A press release from the Property Redress Scheme announces that it has now processed its 100th complaint. It says most of its cases have been in the past seven months since it became mandatory that all letting agents and property management agents join a consumer redress scheme.
Since then, PRS claims that complaint numbers “increase daily as awareness of the scheme becomes more widespread” with two main issues causing the complaints - documentation and communication.
PRS says clear and unambiguous documents, in particular those that relate to terms and conditions, charges and management agreements, are essential to ensure that the customer is fully protected. The scheme also says agents should ensure that they do everything to keep communications channels open even when the relationship with their client or potential buyers may be breaking down.
Meanwhile the largest of the three redress schemes, The Property Ombudsman, is expanding. It has launched TPO Scotland with what it describes as “a celebration” at the offices of the Braemore agency in Edinburgh.
Sales agents have to be in a redress scheme in Scotland. However, unlike in England, lettings agency membership of a redress scheme is not mandatory in Scotland (or for that matter in Wales or Northern Ireland).
“TPO Scotland is an independent scheme and has been launched to ensure industry best practice through its new and approved Codes of Practice. Members of TPO Scotland must adhere to the Codes, while their customers have access to a robust dispute resolution process if things go wrong” says TPO, Christopher Hamer.
“Membership for letting agents is currently voluntary although a significant number of agents in the country are already registered with the scheme, there are major benefits that come from being associated with TPO Scotland which represents a mark of quality and reassurance for buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords” he says.