One hundred complaints.
Since October last year it was mandatory that Property Agents be joined up to a consumer redress scheme, essentially a scheme authorised by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and National Trading Standards, a role in which the scheme would provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between members of the public and property agents.
The Property Redress Scheme (PRS) one of three consumer redress schemes has now processed its 100th Complaint – six months since it became mandatory that all Letting Agents and Property Management Agents join a consumer redress scheme .
PRS points out that two areas that Agents should be consciously aware of is – Documentation and Communication.
Clear and unambiguous documents, in particular those that relate to terms and conditions, charges and management agreements, are essential to ensure that the customer is fully protected. This also protects the Agent, defines the business relationship and manages customer expectations.
Communication is also essential and Agents should ensure that they do everything to keep the channels open even when the relationship is breaking down. Not doing so inevitably leads to the situation deteriorating and by the time of scheme involvement, the consequences have moved far beyond the initial dissatisfaction.
Sean Hooker, Head of Redress for the PRS states on their website “It is still, in my view, the duty of the industry is to help police this legislation. There are a number of Agents out there who either through ignorance or wilful defiance have not signed up to a scheme. We are therefore working with local authorities to ensure the law is enforced as vigorously as possible and consumers remain protected.”