Property Ombudsman issues revised Codes of Practice
Christopher Hamer, the Property Ombudsman, said: “The decision was taken to carry out a full review of the Codes to reflect continuing market developments and the obligations now placed on agents by various pieces of legislation that have been enacted, such as the Consumer Rights Act.
“Changes under the Deregulation Act which start today (1st October) have also been integrated into the new set of Codes, providing comprehensive guidance to our member agents on the new regime.”
The Ombudsman will apply the new Codes of Practice when reviewing consumer complaints about events that have occurred after 1st October to determine whether or not a TPO registered member has breached the high level of standards required.
Hamer added: “The first Code of Practice was enforced in 1990, albeit in a rather shorter form than today. During that 25 year period, the property industry has developed tremendously and continues to change today making it necessary to release new versions to ensure agents fully understand their responsibilities.
“As the market changes, we continue to provide as much up to date information as possible through our guidance documents and website to support both members and consumers.”
The review process involved trade associations, representatives from large and smaller agents in both sales and lettings and a representative from TPO’s independent Council. All TPO Codes of Practice have been revised including: Residential Estate Agents, Residential Letting Agents, Residential Estate Agents (Scotland), Residential Letting Agents (Scotland), Buying Agents, Property Buying Companies, Commercial and Membership Obligations.