Template Complaints Handling Policies and Procedures for Estate Agents and Letting Agents

October 2014
Complaints Handling Procedures required by Ombudsmen and Regulators

It has for some years been mandatory for Residential Estate Agencies to belong to an Ombudsman redress scheme for dealing with customer complaints. As of 1 October 2014, Residential Lettings and Property Management Agencies must also join a redress scheme.

Each redress scheme requires its members to operate an internal complaints procedure which must be exhausted before a complaint can be referred to the Ombudsman. All Residential Estate Agents, Lettings Agents and Property Management Agents therefore need to have a formal written complaints policy for customers. They may also find it helpful to have detailed guidance for staff on how to handle a complaint.

Some Estate Agents, Letting Agents and Commercial Property Agents will be members of a regulatory body such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA). These bodies typically require their members to operate a complaints handling procedure.

Our new Complaints Policies and Complaints Procedures

Template Complaints Policies and Complaints Procedures are now available for Residential Sales and Lettings Agencies and for Commercial Lettings Agencies respectively.

The Complaints Policies explain the Agency’s complaints handling procedure to customers and set out how to make a complaint. The Complaints Handling Procedures are designed for internal use within a business to guide staff through the handling of a complaint.

Use of these documents will help your Agency to comply with its obligations as a member of a redress scheme and/or as a member of a regulatory body. By having suitable policies and procedures in place your Agency should be able to handle complaints more efficiently and effectively, leading to an improvement in overall customer service.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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