Members Newsletter (September 2018)

Published on Wednesday, 05 September 2018.

We hope you have been enjoying the beautiful summer we are having.  As we approach Autumn, we would like to take this opportunity to update you on several key developments to both our Board and internal processes which we believe will support greater efficiency and effectiveness for you (our members) and consumers. 

Autumn Uplift for TPO with new systems, new Members and a new Board structure 

TPO’s Board and Council have now been replaced by one Unitary Board which will be more externally facing, focussing on education and key issues.  This means that pressing issues will no longer have to be approved by two parties and therefore decisions will be made more quickly.  The Board will retain a majority of independent members and will be Chaired by Baroness Diana Warwick.

The changes mean that Gerry Fitzjohn, former Chairman of the Board, and Michael Stoop, former Vice Chairman of the Board will take up the positions of Non-Executive Directors on the new Unitary Board.  Michael Stoop will also take on the role of Chair of the Industry Forum which will feed back industry matters and concerns.  

The Forum is representative of all areas in the property sectors including Scotland and Wales.  A separate Consumer Forum will be chaired by Mark McLaren, an independent Board Member.  This Forum will discuss issues where existing harm to consumers can be identified and, wherever possible, eliminated through best practice and/or changes to the Codes of Practice.  The Fora will meet on 18th October.

NEW MEMBERS 

Over the last 6 months and following the withdrawal of Ombudsman Services from the property redress arena, TPO has welcomed an additional 247 Residential Leasehold Management (RLM) firms, benefitting from TPOs specially trained adjudicators who can provide advice and guidance on complex leasehold management issues. In addition, 1,169  Residential Agents at Head Office and 507 Agents at  branch offices have also joined us. The total membership figure at mid-August was 19,557 (Head Offices and branches) a number which continues to grow. 

 

ONLINE TRAINING MODULE : HANDLING COMPLAINTS

We're putting even greater emphasis on education to help drive up standards. As part of this we want to make sure you have the right tools to handle complaints more effectively.  That is why we have launched our new online training module, which provides practical training to the desk of your front-line staff and those specifically tasked with responding to complaints and resolving disputes.

For the first 1,000 Agents who purchase TPO’s Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) course, they will receive the Complaints Handing course for free. Full details available HERE.  Completion will earn agents Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.  

  

COMPLAINT HANDLING TOOLKIT

As an additional support tool, we have launched a Complaint Handling Toolkit which is free for members to download and includes template letters, flowcharts and guidance. CLICK HERE

NEW 'RESPOND' SYSTEM

We have adopted the latest RESPOND system which will remind both consumers and agents of upcoming deadlines and inform both parties who is handling your case work. 

 

TERMS OF REFERENCE

Following a comprehensive review, we have made some significant changes to our Terms of Reference . Key changes include shorter response times for both parties and the simultaneous issuing of proposed decisions to both consumer and agent.  This will benefit both parties by emphasising fairness and transparency throughout the process as well as significantly speeding up the decision making.

 

We have invested a significant amount of time and effort into reviewing the areas of our organisation which need refinement and implementing changes which will significantly benefit all who use our service.  While the future landscape of redress in the property sector remains unclear, we will continue to find positive solutions to the needs of you, our members, consumers and the industry as a whole. 

 

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