Third redress scheme is given official stamp of approval

A third UK redress for the property sales sector has been approved by the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team.

The Property Redress Scheme, operated by commercial insurers Hamilton Fraser, is now approved to offer alternative dispute resolution to consumers and estate agents where there is a dispute in relation to the buying or selling of residential property.

They join the Property Ombudsman and Ombudsman Services as the three approved redress schemes for the property sales sector in the UK.

As of yesterday (October 1), the Alternative Dispute Regulations will require estate agency businesses to advise the consumer of an ADR body relevant to their sector and the nature of the specific complaint, once they fail to resolve a dispute through their own customer service efforts.

James Munro, team leader for the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, said: “ADR offers the parties an easier, quicker and more cost effective mechanism to resolve complaints when compared to the court process.

“It is generally accepted that consumers are more willing to use ADR than to use the court process, and that ADR is much better at maintaining, or recovering, a positive relationship between the consumer and trader.”

The National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, hosted by Powys County Council,  regulates sales agents but not letting agents.

The team is responsible for approving the UK’s consumer redress schemes in the residential sales sector, and for issuing prohibition or warning orders to individuals or businesses who are found to be unfit to engage in estate agency work.

However, the Property Redress Scheme is also authorised – by the Department of Communities and Local Government – to offer redress to consumers of letting and property management agents.

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