Date online: 28/08/2014
Contrary to press articles published today, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has said that no statement has been issued to confirm the enforcement date of new legislation that will make it a legal requirement for letting agents to register with an approved redress scheme. We understand a DCLG announcement is imminent, following which we will ensure copies are shared via email, Twitter and our website.
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme was approved by The Department for Communities and Local Government earlier this year and is the largest scheme of its kind, with more than 11,500 lettings agents already registering with TPO voluntarily and following the scheme’s unique Code of Practice, which represents best practice in the industry and has been proven to raise standards.
The great news for existing members is that you’re fully covered under the new legislation and no further action is needed. By registering with TPO you already comply with the legal requirements by offering your landlords and tenants a route to free, fair and impartial dispute resolution through the TPO scheme.
FAQs for member branches
The DCLG announcement will be publicised through the media, which might cause some landlords and tenants to ask questions and request confirmation of your scheme membership in which case, the words below might be of use:
(Consumer) Are you registered with an approved scheme?
(TPO member agent) Yes. We are registered with TPO, a government-approved redress scheme which is the largest of its kind with 65% of UK letting agents following TPO’s unique Code of Practice. Our membership with TPO means we fully comply with the legislation, which means in the event of a dispute arising, if you are unsatisfied with the result of our own investigation, you can have your complaint independently reviewed by the Property Ombudsman, which provides a free, fair and impartial service.
(Consumer) Are there any fees to pay for using TPO?
(TPO member agent) There are absolutely no fees or costs involved - regardless of how many complaints TPO reviews from a consumer. TPO is a not-for-profit organisation and is completely independent.
(Consumer) What is TPO?
(TPO member agent) TPO is the largest and longest-running property dispute resolution service – specialising solely in property redress. Their 24-years’ experience and unrivalled in-depth knowledge on all things property-related enables TPO to review complaints fairly and independently.
Existing members have a unique opportunity to reassure consumers about their membership of TPO while this issue is prominent in the news by using the scheme’s well-known high street brand and a suite of TPO marketing materials to enhance your profile, credibility and the peace of mind you can offer landlords and tenants as member agents that adhere to one or more of TPO’s Codes of Practice (for no additional fee). Are you displaying your TPO credentials on:
• Your website?
• In the branch?
• On your sales and marketing materials?
• On Twitter and facebook?