Members of The Property Ombudsman scheme celebrate their Sales Code approval with the Trading Standards Institute.
As a member of the UK’s largest property ombudsman scheme, Armed Forces and Veterans Estates Agency Ltd is one of 11,745 residential sales agents that have signed up to TPO’s Sales Code of Practice.
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has now become the first property organisation to have a Code of Practice approved by The Trading Standard Institute (TSI) under their Consumer Code Approval Scheme.
More than 95 percent of the residential sales market is signed up to TPO’s Sales Code of Practice and redress service, which is a free, independent and impartial dispute resolution service for consumers.
This news means all home owners and buyers using any of Armed Forces and Veterans Estates offices across the UK are all covered by TPO’s Sales Code of Practice.
Armed Forces and Veterans Estates agency is now listed on TSI’s online directory of approved traders. Consumers will be able to look for TPO sales agents through TSI’s dedicated database on www.tradingstandards.gov.uk and through the Citizens Advice Bureau’s website, to find a member of an approved code in their area.
TPO sales agents will now be able to display the TSI Approved Code logo in their advertising, branches and within company literature[i].
Confirming the news, Property Ombudsman Christopher Hamer said: “I am delighted that TPO has become the largest organisation to win approval from TSI for its Consumer Code Approval Scheme. The TPO Code is a recognised set of standards throughout the industry but it is important that it is also seen as being independently approved by a credible organisation. “With the OFT’s withdrawal from the code approval process it is good news that TSI have stepped in to fulfil the important role of rigorous examination and approval for consumer-focussed codes.” Mr Hamer added: “This news means that agents who are members of TPO actively offer the highest level of consumer protection for buyers and sellers. We are in active discussions with TSI to achieve scheme approval for the Lettings Code of Practice.”
Armed Forces and Veterans Estates
Delivering a better deal for our Armed Forces & VeteransCitizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “We deal with over a million consumer problems each year and know how difficult it is for people to find a seller they can trust, the Approved Trader Scheme will help to combat this.”
TPO is among the first trade bodies sponsoring the new code and has also become the largest organisation to be accredited by the scheme since it replaced the Office of Fair Trading’s scheme earlier this year. There are now with 26,530 approved traders signed up to one of the ten codes of practice.
TPO joins: British Association of Removers, British Healthcare Trades Association, Debt Managers Standards Association, Institute of Professional Will Writers, Motor Codes Ltd, Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd, Robert Bosch Ltd, The Carpet Foundation and Vehicle Builders Repairers Association Ltd.
A downloadable PDF of the copy abaove is available here
Notes for the reader
Trading Standards Institute (TSI) TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. It aims to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.
TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses.
The Trading Standards Institute also hosts the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) which provides consumer advice with regards to cross border disputes within the EU and also the European Consumer Centre Service (ECCS).
What is The Property Ombudsman (TPO)?
The Property Ombudsman scheme has been offering a free, independent and impartial dispute resolution service to consumers who are dissatisfied with the service provided by registered firms since 1990. The Ombudsman can provide redress to place the consumer back in the position they occupied before the complaint arose to achieve a full and final settlement of the dispute and all claims made by either party. Where appropriate, the Ombudsman can make compensatory awards in individual cases up to a maximum of £25,000 for actual and quantifiable loss and / or for aggravation, distress and inconvenience caused by the actions of a registered firm.
The Property Ombudsman currently provides redress for consumers using 25,500 offices in the UK (inc. 11,745 residential sales estate agency branches and 10,391 residential lettings offices).
Whilst TPO charges registered firms an annual subscription, the Ombudsman is accountable to the TPO Council, the majority of which is made up of non-industry members. The Council appoints the Ombudsman and sets his Terms of Reference (i.e. how the complaint process operates). The Ombudsman is required to report to the Council on a regular basis.
The Ombudsman is not a regulator and does not have the authority to take regulatory or legal action against a registered firm. However, member firms can be referred to the TPO Disciplinary and Standards Committee, appointed by the Council, which has the power to expel firms from the scheme and / or report them to the Office of Fair Trading, which has the ability to ban firms from carrying out estate agency business.
The Ombudsman’s Terms of Reference, the Codes of Practice, Consumer Guides and other documents about the operation of the scheme are available on our website (www.tpos.co.uk), together with previous annual and interim reports, further explanation of governance arrangements and a full list of registered firms.
For press information, please contact:
Press & Communications Manager
The Property Ombudsman Limited
M: 07415 684548
For more information about TPO, please visit our website at www.tpos.co.uk
[i] Use of the TSI approved logo is strictly limited to TPO Sales Agents only and subject to specific conditions detailed on the TPO website. TPO will be issuing full guidance to individual agents as to the conditions of display of the TSI logo and will be producing new window stickers this month.