News & Blog

The Property Redress Scheme updates its Terms of Reference and Conditions of Complaints

The Property Redress Scheme is now in its fourth year. In that time our intention has, and still is, to provide all our Members with the best possible service and to ensure you comply with the law. We are constantly reviewing our processes to make sure our Members and their consumers can access our scheme as smoothly as possible. We also need to make sure we are resourced sufficiently to be able to deal with all the complaints that are raised in the timescales expected.

 

This year we have made the decision to separate out the Terms of Reference and Conditions of Complaints into two documents. The Terms of Reference sets out our terms to our Members as to how the scheme operates and both ours and our Members’ obligations. The Conditions of Complaints is a document that sets out how we deal with complaints that are raised with us. It is a document which both our Members and their consumers agree to abide by in relation to complaints raised.

 

As there have been a few changes it is important to set out the most important ones:

 

  • We have set up a new Membership Option for Leasehold Block Management Agents.

 

This is Membership Option 3 when agents join and is designed for those agents who would class 80% or more of their total activity as being from leasehold block management work. There is an annual fee and complaint fees for this model. If an agent undertakes leasehold block management work but it takes up less than 80% of their work then they can join on either the enhanced or entry model but please note all leasehold block management complaints will be chargeable at the advertised rate – currently this is £200 plus vat notwithstanding that they have joined on the enhanced model.

 

If you are a Member who currently conducts over 80% leasehold block management work then please contact us and we will arrange to move you over to the correct membership model.

 

  • We have introduced a cap on complaints for the enhanced model

 

We now reserve the right to move a Member from the enhanced to the entry model if they have 5 or more complaints in a membership year. We have always had a fair usage policy for the enhanced model but feel it is better to put a figure on the policy as this means there is certainty on the position for both the Scheme and Member.

 

  • Complaint fees

 

As client money protection (CMP) is due to become a legal requirement for all letting agents we have removed the distinction between those that have CMP and those that have not. There will be a standard complaint fee of £100 plus vat for sales, lettings and other property professional complaints and £200 plus vat for leasehold block management complaints. If a Member is not happy with the new complaint fees then we are happy to offer a pro rata refund to the Member so they can join another government-authorised consumer redress scheme.

 

  • We have updated our disciplinary section

 

Our Compliance Officer may now use the fact a Member regularly frustrates the process in relation to the compliance of a complaint decision as a reason to investigate a Member and propose their expulsion from the scheme.

 

  • Conditions of Complaints

 

With regards to our complaints process this remains the same but we feel the Conditions of Complaints document sets out the requirements in a much more user friendly way. We have set out a summary of the process and timescales and also provided an evidence checklist at the back of the document. We regularly update our online complaint system to improve the usability and provide increased functionality for Members and consumers. If anyone has any feedback on their use of the system we are always happy to receive it.

 

  • Privacy policy

 

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations coming into force at the end of May. The policy is available on our website.

 

Tim Frome

Managing Director

2nd May 2018

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The Property Redress Scheme updates its Terms of Reference and Conditions of Complaints

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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