Complaints Handling Procedure for Residential Sales and Lettings Agents
This Complaints Handling Procedure for Residential Sales and Lettings Agents can be used by Estate Agencies and Letting Agencies to complement the Complaints Policy.
Operating a formal complaints handling procedure is a condition of membership of the ombudsman redress schemes to which Estate Agents and Lettings and Property Management Agents must belong. It may also be a requirement of Agents’ professional bodies such as RICS, NAEA or ARLA.
Two levels of internal complaint handling are provided for in this Complaints Procedure, the second of which is designed as an appeal stage for those customers who are not satisfied with the initial outcome of a complaint. There is also the option for referral to the ombudsman if the customer is not satisfied. If the Agent is a member of a professional body, the customer may also be able to complain to that professional body, depending on the nature of the complaint.
This Complaints Handling Procedure is designed to be used in conjunction with the Complaints Policy for Residential Sales and Lettings Agents. The Policy explains the Agency’s complaints handling procedure to customers. This Procedure is designed for internal use to guide staff through the handling of a complaint.
Section 1 contains definitions.
Section 2 sets out with the scope of the Procedure – essentially, defining a “complaint”. Anything that does not fall within the definition of a “complaint” should be dealt with through other channels.
Section 3 covers receipt and recording of complaints.
Section 4 sets out the information that should be obtained from complainants.
Section 5 describes the various levels of complaint available under the Procedure.
Section 6 explains the procedure to be followed in handling a Level One complaint.
Section 7 deals with Level Two complaints (appeals).
Section 8 sets out the options available to complaints handlers as regards resolving a complaint.
Section 9 explains how to respond if a complaint is referred to the ombudsman.
Section 10 is relevant if a complaint is referred to the Agent’s professional body.
Sections 11 and 12 relate to the implementation and recording of resolution actions.
Section 13 relates to confidentiality and data protection issues.
Section 14 states who within the Agency is responsible for implementation and review of the Procedure.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.
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