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The Property Ombudsman
Who are we?
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme was originally established in 1990 as the Ombudsman for Corporate Estate Agents. In 1997 the scheme was renamed as the Ombudsman for Estate Agents and then changed to TPO in 2009 to reflect its broader jurisdiction in relation to the resolution of disputes relating to sales, lettings, search providers, residential leasehold management, chattels auctions, international and commercial property.
In June 2008 TPO was the first redress scheme to gain the status of an OFT Approved Estate Agents Redress Scheme under the provisions of the Consumers Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007.
Both the TPO Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents and the TPO Code of Practice for Residential Letting Agents have received OFT approval under its Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (the latter being Stage 1 in July 2011).
At 31 December 2012, membership of TPO included 11,933 sales offices and 9,748 lettings offices. TPO estimates that these figures represent approximately 93% of sales agents and 60% of lettings agents operating within the UK
What does TPO do?
TPO provides consumers with a free, impartial and independent alternative dispute resolution service of complaints against registered firms (TPO scheme members). The Ombudsman’s resolutions are designed to achieve a full and final settlement of the dispute and all claims made by either party. The Ombudsman can, where appropriate make compensatory awards in individual cases up to a maximum of £25,000 for actual and quantifiable loss and/or for aggravation, distress and/or inconvenience caused by the actions of a registered firm.
Redress not Regulation
The Ombudsman provides redress, where appropriate, to consumers whose complaints are considered on a case by case basis. Redress is intended to put the consumer back into the position they were before the complaint arose. The Ombudsman is not a regulator and does not have the authority to take regulatory or legal action against a registered firm. The Ombudsman does not have the power to impose fines or dictate the way in which firms conduct their business.
TPO is a full member of the Ombudsman Association (formerly the British and Irish Ombudsman Association) and adheres to the organisation’s principles of good governance for ombudsman schemes.Contact:The Property Ombudsman,Milford House,43–55 Milford Street,Salisbury,WiltshireSP1 2BPTel: 01722 333306Fax: 01722 332296 www.tpos.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org