The number of complaints against its members has increased by 51 per cent in 2019, the Property Redress Scheme has revealed.
The latest statistics, released by the Property Redress Scheme on an interactive website, show that the scheme grew rapidly 2019, and by the end of the year had over 12,000 agent members with a further 1,106 registered offices throughout the UK.
The Property Redress Scheme credits the rise in complaints, from 959 to 1,444, to its rise in members, from 8,608 to 12,249.
In total the scheme accepted 601 complaints. Lettings made up the majority of complaints (77%), then sales (15%) and finally residential lettings management (8%).
In lettings, the top reason for complaints was holding deposits, which has increased 29% compared to last year.
The Property Redress Scheme expelled 66 members in 2019, five of these were expelled due to the Memorandum of Understanding with the Property Ombudsman scheme, and sixty-one expelled for non-compliance.
The PRS says that close to 90 per cent of its decisions were complied with and that twelve agents were later reinstated following their compliance with the scheme’s decisions.
The average award made to complainants was £1,224.81 and the scheme awarded £616,000 in total. Its highest award was £25,000.
Commenting on the report, Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the Property Redress Scheme, said:
“I am proud of how the Property Redress Scheme has grown over this period and of how we are continuing to help agents comply with the law.”
“We aim to provide the best service for our members, which is why we’ve focussed on reducing the time it takes to resolve a complaint using early resolution.
“We’ve got this down to just 42 days from complaint to closure, 16 days less than the previous period.”
“We hope to continue to improve this record, which is why we launched our tenancy mediation service earlier this year.
“Not only will that help agents resolve issues faster, but it will also help with compliance as all parties will have worked together to bring the complaint to a resolution.”
“We’ve always tried to do things differently at the Property Redress Scheme, in a way that benefits our members. That is why we released our annual report as an interactive website.
“We hope members and stakeholders find it more enjoyable to read, and don’t forget to try out being an adjudicator with our interactive case studies.”