The Property Ombudsman Launches New Codes of Practice
August 6, 2014
The Codes, which came into affect on 1st August August, are said to reflect developments in industry practice and legislative changes.
The Ombudsman applies the Codes of Practice when reviewing consumer complaints to ascertain if a registered agent has breached the required standard, which might result in the Ombudsman directing the agent to pay an award (up to the value of £25,000). The Ombudsman will refer serious Code breaches to TPO’s independent Disciplinary & Standards Committee, which has the power to fine or expel agents and engage with regulators such as Trading Standards and the Competition and Market Authority.
Christopher Hamer, the Ombudsman, said: “The revised codes incorporate the many changes in legislation that have occurred over recent years, emphasising the importance of adhering to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and the new 14 day cancellation period. They represent a comprehensive set of standards by which agents should run their businesses, leading to reduced risk for the consumer, fewer complaints and consistency across the sector.”
The new Codes come into effect ahead of legislative changes that will make it a legal requirement for all letting agents to register with an approved redress scheme, which is expected to come into force later this year.