An accreditation scheme which will see the property sector benefit from more transparency in relation to consumers purchasing property education has been launched by the Property Investors Bureau (PIB).
After three months of extensive public consultation, the new Property Educators Accreditation Scheme (PEAS) has taken on its first applicants and will soon be able to help consumers who purchase property education to benefit from more information, guidance, and redress.
PIB says that a number of the UK’s most influential property investment educators are leading the way by applying to become founding members of PEAS and that should they pass the application stage followed by a six month probation period, they will become the first accredited property investment educators of the scheme.
PIB also says that Kate Faulkner the Property Specialist, Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action, Richard Bowser of Property Investor News, and the PropertyTribes the online property forum, have been vocal about issues within the sector and have expressed support for PEAS.
PEAS was founded out of a need for self-regulation and higher standards in the property investment education sector and PIB sees the launch of PEAS as the first step in a positive change of culture within the sector.
Property expert, John Howard was the first property educator to submit an application to become a member of PEAS and commented:
“I’ve been in property investment for 40 years and think it’s vital that we have self-regulation in the industry.
“I am delighted to be a founding member and I feel it will be a great asset to property educators and investors.”
PEAS is supported by the government-authorised Property Redress Scheme (PRS).
By joining PEAS, educators will automatically be signed up to the PRS who are the scheme’s chosen complaint adjudicators.
Sean Hooker, Head of Redress for the PRS said:
“The Property Redress Scheme provides independent redress for the customers of Property Investors Bureau.
“We already run a Government authorised redress scheme for letting agents and property managers who have to provide this by law, however even though the PIB is a voluntary body, we are also approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute to provide complaint resolution under The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.
“Before PIB approached us, there was not a scheme who were offering this for practitioners in the property education sector, so we have agreed to provide this.
“We offer an escalated complaint service that a consumer can use if they are unsatisfied with the way a member has dealt with their complaint.
“Whilst we won’t look at complaints where the customer has not made the money they thought they would, we can see if they have been misled or deceived.”
By becoming accredited through PEAS, credible property educators are able to differentiate themselves from less credible operators.
Another recent applicant to PEAS was Ranjan Bhattacharya, founder of the Baker Street Property Meet, who commented:
“As a provider of property education for the last 15 years, I am delighted to be one of the founding members of this initiative.
“This will raise standards and will help consumers by acting as a foundation for making more informed decisions when choosing an educator.”
Other educators such as Simon Zutshi of Property Investor Network, Gill Fielding of Fielding Financial, and Kevin Wright of Positive Property Finance, are all supporters of PEAS.
Whilst it is not expected that the new body will solve all of the issues within the property investment education sector overnight, they say it is important to start somewhere then continue to adapt and improve.
Cyril Thomas, Chairman of PIB, said:
“We are enthused by the vast support for the scheme and will continue to embrace all who want to be a part of the solution.”
EYE reported in January on moves to bring regulation to the property education sector.