About The Property Ombudsman Scheme
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has been providing consumers and property agents with an alternative dispute resolution service since 1990.
The Ombudsman’s resolutions are designed to achieve a full and final settlement of the dispute and all claims made by either party. The Ombudsman can, where appropriate, make compensatory awards in individual cases up to a maximum of £25,000 for actual and quantifiable loss and/or for aggravation, distress and/or inconvenience caused by the actions of an agent.
The TPO Board charges scheme members an annual subscription however, it is the independent Council to whom the Ombudsman reports, the majority of which is made up of members.
It is the Council who appoints the Ombudsman and sets her Terms of Reference.
TPO is a government approved scheme to provide independent redress in relation to disputes between consumers and property agents.
Statistics and commentary for the 2015 to 2016 period of TPO’s approval from the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, can be found here.
Redress not Regulation
The Ombudsman provides redress, where appropriate, to consumers whose complaints are considered on a case by case basis.
The Ombudsman is not a regulator and does not have the authority to take regulatory or legal action against an agent, impose fines or dictate the way agents conduct their business.
TPO is a full member of the Ombudsman Association and has adopted the Association's Service Standards Framework (which sets out best practice for ombudsmen schemes). TPO has been validated by the Association as adhering to its principles of good governance for ombudsmen schemes (independence, transparency, accountability, integrity, clarity of purpose, effectiveness).
Approved Redress Bodies
TPO is one of a number of redress schemes approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute under the ADR Regulations 2015.
A list of approved ADR schemes covering a wide range of business sectors across Europe can be found here.