Property Ombudsman backs national approval scheme that protects £51billion consumer spending

Published on Tuesday, 21 March 2017.

Property Ombudsman backs national approval scheme that protects £51billion consumer spending

Consumers are urged to check if their trader is one of the 43,000 businesses following an approved Code of Practice and listed on the Approved Code Directory

The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPO) is backing a national campaign to help more consumers find reputable and trusted businesses and services. 

Consumers are being urged to check if their trader is on the Consumer Code Approval Scheme’s (CCAS) Approved Code Directory to ensure they only deal with firms following an accredited Code of Practice.

The CCAS has now approved 24 Codes that collectively protect over £51billion in consumer spending. The Approved Code Directory has over 43,000 approved code members, which are responsible for more than 27million transactions.

The week-long campaign was launched by Baroness Crawley who praised CCAS for approving Codes that raise customer standards and consumer trust by offering enhanced levels of protection that go above and beyond legal requirements.

TPO is the only property organisation to have its own Codes approved by CCAS, having received its first CCAS accreditation in 2005. TPO joins a range of organisations in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, automotive, legal, energy, construction and financial services that have all pledged their continued commitment to raise industry standards by operating CCAS-approved Codes.

Gerry Fitzjohn, TPO’s Board Chairman, said:

“TPO has been supportive of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme since it was first launched by Office of Fair Trading many years ago. This is because the codes approved by the CCAS not only set out the minimum legal requirements, but place additional obligations on businesses to provide a higher standard of service to consumers. Businesses that sign up to these codes can proudly display their CTSI CCAS logo, demonstrating their commitment to expert service and underlining the enhanced consumer protection available to their clients.”

Gerry added: “Over 95% of UK sales agents and 85% of UK letting agents have voluntarily agreed to follow TPO’s approved Sales and Lettings Codes. All of these agents are listed on CTSI’s Approved Code Directory as well as the TPO website, and the sheer number demonstrates the value placed in TPO’s approved codes by the property sector. This can only be a good thing for consumers and the industry alike and I would encourage all approved businesses to explain these important benefits to their clients.”

Any trader wishing to become an approved code member must follow a CCAS-accredited Code of Practice and be able to demonstrate that they are committed to the highest levels of customer service.

Approved code members will also have the right to display the trusted CTSI approved Code logo, which you can view here.

The CCAS was launched by CTSI in 2013 as part of a wider government review of consumer legislation and replaced a scheme operated by the defunct Office of Fair Trading.

To find out more about CTSI’s national CCAS campaign, please visit the CTSI website.

Source: CTSI (March 2017)

CCAS approved TPO’s Sales Code of Practice in 2005 (under the OFT operated scheme). CCCAS has since approved TPO’s Lettings Code of Practice and the Scottish Sales and Lettings Codes of Practice.