020 7631 4565 brian@jameslewis.co.uk

The Property Ombudsman

The Property Ombudsman came into being on 1 May 2009. Formerly, the Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OEA), the name change was made to reflect the broader jurisdiction in relation to Complaints we are now able to deal with, e.g. Sales, lettings, commercial and overseas.

The Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OEA) Scheme was established on 1 January 1998. The Scheme is open to all those firms of estate agents with a principal, director or partner who is a member of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); to all corporate estate agents, defined as those who are subsidiaries of a bank, building society or insurance company, or are themselves quoted on the Stock Exchange and to other estate agents who are sponsored and seconded by existing member agents. From June 2006, the OEA extended its services to Lettings and Property Management agents.

By dealing with a Member of the TPO, the public may be confident about the agent’s approach in its dealings with actual and potential buyers and sellers of residential property or lettings in the UK.

With effect from 1 October 2008, all estate agents are required to register with an Estate Agents Redress Scheme that has been approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and which investigates complaints against estate agents. The TPO is one of the schemes approved by the OFT.
Many estate agents have in addition agreed to follow the TPO Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents. Estate agents signing up to this Code of Practice are required to provide additional consumer protection that goes beyond that required by the law. They can be recognised by the blue TPO logo. Registered agents, who do not voluntarily accept the Code of Practice obligations of the TPO Scheme, are not entitled to show the blue TPO logo.

Lettings and property management agents who join the TPO also subscribe to the Code of Practice for Letting Agents.

IN-HOUSE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

We are committed to providing a professional service to all our clients and customers.  When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  This will help us to improve our standards.

If you have a complaint, please put it in writing, including as much detail as possible.  We will then respond in line with the timeframes set out below (if you feel we have not sought to address your complaints within eight weeks, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Property Ombudsman to consider without our final viewpoint on the matter).

What will happen next?

  • We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of you complaint within three working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  • We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally be dealt with by the office manager who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who dealt with you.  A formal written outcome of our investigation will be sent to you within 15 working days of sending the acknowledgement letter.
  • If, at this stage, you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a separate review to take place by a senior member of staff.
  • We will write to you within 15 working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final viewpoint on the matter.

If you remain dissatisfied, you can then contact The Property Ombudsman to request an independent review:

The Property Ombudsman Ltd
Milford House
43-45 Milford Street
Salisbury
Wiltshire
SP1 2BP
01722 333 306

www.tpos.co.uk

Please note the following:

You will need to submit your complaint to The Property Ombudsman within 12 months of receiving our final viewpoint letter, including any evidence to support your case.
The Property Ombudsman requires that all complaints are addressed through this in-house complaints procedure, before being submitted for an independent review.

James Lewis and Company
Member of
The Property Ombudsman Scheme