Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Property Ombudsman - raising complaints

The Property Ombudsman is one of the Redress Schemes brought about by the changes in the Estate Agents Act in 2008.

As of October 2008, any Estate Agent who deals with residential property ('residential property' being any property where all or part of it is used as a dwelling) were legally bound to join a scheme.

A number of complaints were made to Trading Standards because RTA had not joined a Redress Scheme and, in September last year, RTA joined The Property Ombudsman (TPOS).

Many of our members felt that this was a hollow victory because TPOS had indicated that they were unable to look at any complaints where the contract had been signed prior to the September 2011 joining date.

However, following discussions with TPOS, we were informed that they will look at complaints about RTA's Complaints Handling Process, regardless of when the contract was signed.  Of course, your complaint needs to have been raised after the date that RTA joined TPOS and you will also need to progress your complaint through TPOS within their published timescales.

Most of you will know that we always suggest that the first step in any dispute is to document a formal written complaint to the company involved - how else can the issues be resolved amicably?  However, more often than not, an unsatisfactory response was received from RTA (usually Paul O'Reilly) which did not mirror the approach documented in RTA's complaint handling procedure or no response was received at all.

Well, now there is 'redress' and members have been successfully taking complaints to The Ombudsman.

You'll find details of the complaints process here - http://www.tpos.co.uk/make_complaint_sales.htm

The complaints form and guidance can be found in the list on the right.

eMail your complaint in the first instance to admin@tpos.co.uk

Good luck

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