News & Blog

Property Redress Scheme approved to offer alternative dispute resolution

The Property Redress Scheme (PRS) is delighted to announce that it has been approved by both the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team to offer alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to consumers and traders acting within the property sector under the new ADR regulations which came into force on 1st October 2015.

 

It is already law that property agents are required to be a member of a government authorised redress scheme. Now all traders operating within the property industry are required to signpost their consumers who are unhappy with their service to an authorised ADR provider. For more information about ADR, please click here

 

Although the trader is not required to actually engage in the authorised ADR providers resolution process the aim of the legislation is to push ADR up the agenda as an alternative to the parties going to court. Also Judges are not going to look favourably upon traders who unreasonably reject the opportunity to use ADR and instead force a complainant to issue Court proceedings. If a trader does not signpost their consumers to an authorised ADR provider then they can be subject to fines of up to £5,000 by trading standards.

 

In practice, ADR means that disputes between traders and consumers can be looked at in different ways after any attempts at resolving the issue through the trader’s complaints process have failed. The PRS uses a mixture of early resolution, mediation and adjudication to reach resolutions to the disputes.



The PRS has offered a property professional membership since its inception in the Summer of 2014. Property professionals account for approximately 6% of the 4,250 strong PRS Membership. Those property professionals are now complying with the new ADR regulations by being a Member of the PRS.

 

 

Sean Hooker, Head of Redress said, “I am delighted that on the anniversary of it being a legal requirement for letting and property agents to be a member of a consumer redress scheme the PRS can now announce that it has gained authorisation to offer ADR services to its property professional membership. I strongly believe that ADR provides a quicker and more satisfactory resolution to disputes by engaging the parties and getting to the core of the issues in dispute.”    

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Property Redress Scheme is approved by Government under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015