As of 1 January 2019, The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is approved by the RICS to provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) on all surveying services provided to consumers. This approval extends TPO’s current approval for residential agency (lettings, estate agency and property management), making TPO the only ADR provider approved for consumer-facing disputes for all surveying services.
Following the withdrawal of Ombudsman Services: Property (OS:P) from the property sector back in August 2018, TPO received a high volume of requests from RICS member firms looking for TPO to offer redress.
Although surveying firms are not subject to mandatory redress, TPO has created a new category of membership for property professionals engaged in the provision of surveying and other property related professional services, to cover referencing companies and inventory providers. In the future, this may also be expanded to cover other gaps in the market where there is no requirement for mandatory redress.
Property Ombudsman, Katrine Sporle, comments: “At a time when Government’s focus is firmly fixed on improving markets for consumers, we are keen to play our role in the future redress landscape. TPO stands for universal access by consumers to consistent, high quality alternative dispute resolution. By expanding our jurisdictions and offering a’ one-stop shop’ for help, advice and complaints handling, we can raise standards in the industry and put things right when they go wrong.”
TPO’s full list of jurisdictions now covers estate agents, letting agents, leasehold residential management, commercial and business agents, buying agents, residential property buying companies, auctions, international agents, building warranties and search providers and now, property surveyors and property professionals.
Firms that wish to join TPO as a surveyor can find the relevant information, including pricing at https://www.tpos.co.uk/join-the-scheme/online-application/block-management?id=135