Property Redress Schemes
Sometimes Estate Agents get a bad reputation, sometimes it’s rightly deserved, as with any industry there are always bad operators and genuine mistakes and oversights made.
Estate Agency in the UK is a non-licensed industry. This means that you do not need to have any qualifications to act as an Agent. It operates on anti-licensing, governed by redress schemes. This meaning Agents who are seen to have acted inappropriately can have prohibition orders served and they can no longer act.
All agencies are required to be a member of a redress scheme.
These redress schemes operate with a view of ensuring that once internal complaints procedures are exhausted with Agents that you, the consumer have somewhere to go and register your grievance with an impartial authority.
This is for both sales and rental markets.
The two redress schemes available to agents in the UK are,
The Property Ombudsman – https://www.tpos.co.uk
The Property Redress Scheme – https://www.theprs.co.uk
Their contact details can be found via the links above.
I am personally a member of The Property Ombudsman, which is the longest operator of the schemes available to Agents in the UK.
Interestingly, The Property Ombudsman has recently released an annual report to outline their activity for 2020. You can read and download the full report from this link below:
Some of the highlights from a sales perspective were very interesting:
– 39,285 enquiries in 2020 (up 29% on 2019)
– 5,122 cases accepted (up just 0.3% on 2019)
– £1.9 million rewarded to consumers
– 19 agents were excluded for non-compliance
The 4 most common complaints were as follows:
- Communication and record-keeping
- Instructions, terms of business, commission and termination
- Marketing and advertising
- Complaints handling
Armed with this information we must ask ourselves as Agents, have we put systems and procedures in place to ensure that we can mitigate the chances of the above as much as possible?
Working with an Agent one-to-one like myself can automatically reduce the risk of all four of the above most common grievances.
- Working one to one can avoid any Chinese Whispers, the chance of miscommunications or broken service promises.
As a private company with the backing of an international platform, I employ one of the most advanced cloud-based CRM systems that incorporate my prospecting and portal lead generation from Rightmove & Zoopla. This ensures your information is available at the click of a button from anywhere when requested.
- As a Bespoke Agent, I purposely deal with a limited number of properties at any one time so I can deliver the service they deserve. This means I can spend the time required on my sign-ups, to walk my clients through their contracts so that they fully understand the agreement, terms and conditions they are entering. As a Bespoke Agent, I can tailor agreements with clients so that they feel comfortable.
- As a mobile Agent working with a limited number of clients at any one time, this allows me the flexibility and budget to create quality marketing plans with my clients that suit their needs and timelines. No two properties are the same, why should their marketing plans be?
- I use a saying a lot and I honestly don’t think you can go far wrong in life if you stick with it, “treat people how you want to be treated”. Be assured if you are ever unhappy or feel that something hasn’t gone to plan you can reach out to me any time, all my clients have a personal mobile number that can be reached in and out of business hours. With my name over the door and my reputation as an Agent that cares, know that any complaints or grievances will be handled effectively and efficiently.
Hopefully, you will never need to approach a redress scheme regarding your property sale or purchase, but it is always good to know and understand where you can turn to should it ever be required.
I wish anyone on the market, going to market or entering into a purchase the very best of luck.
If you are ever unsure of anything property wise, pick up the phone, drop me an email or reach out on social media.
I am always happy to help people with their property.