The Role of the Independent Reviewer
To review and respond to complaints from consumers or member agents about the level of service provided by the Ombudsman's Office. The Independent Reviewer is the final stage in the scheme's internal service complaint procedure.
To conduct an audit of a small sample of cases considered by the Property Ombudsman, to ensure that the Ombudsman's terms of reference have been appropriately applied.
Complaints about TPO's Service
The procedure for complaints about TPO’s service brought by consumers or member agents is comprised of three stages. At the first stage the complaint goes to the Ombudsman, secondly to the Chairman of the Council and finally, if necessary, to the Independent Reviewer.
The Independent Reviewer acts completely independently of any influence from TPO. Once they have made their decision, there is no further appeal available.
The Independent Reviewer’s Terms of Reference limit their consideration to service complaints, in other words the way complaints have been handled, the work of the Office and the conduct of its staff. If the Independent Reviewer upholds a service complaint they may recommend to the Ombudsman that an apology be made and/or that appropriate compensation be paid (equivalent to that which the Ombudsman would award in similar circumstances) for any distress or inconvenience caused by the shortfall in level of service given.
For further information please download a copy of our Service Complaints Procedure.
The Independent Reviewer is appointed by the TPO Council and is required to report annually in person to the full Council and to provide a written report for inclusion in the Ombudsman's Annual Report.
For further information please see the Independent Reviewer's terms of reference.