CCAS In this feature

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, "12":"CCAS In this feature l The Property Ombudsman l complaints l redress scheme All signed up As the rental market has thrived, so too have unscrupulous landlords and letting agents. Reputable agencies need to reassure tenants and thanks to TSIs Consumer Codes Approval Scheme they can, writes Ivy Hughes This latest approval will enable letting agents following our code of practice to display the TSI logo for the first time T he end of 2014 marked a milestone for TSIs Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) and the lettings industry, with the approval of the Lettings Code of Practice, put together by The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme. This was the second code to receive approval in 2014, after the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Warranty Products was accepted in March. Under the Lettings Code of Practice, 12,000-plus lettings offices registered with TPO the largest redress scheme have become approved traders. These agree to a code of practice that has passed a stringent, two-stage process to gain approval. Tenants and landlords can look for the TSI-approved code logo to see if their agent is registered. TPO is the largest government-approved property ombudsman scheme in the country approximately 75 per cent of the UK lettings market is registered and following the schemes Code. With more than 30,000 sales, lettings and property agents signed up, it offers consumers a free, fair and impartial redress service to resolve disputes with registered agents. We are delighted to welcome The Property Ombudsman Schemes Lettings Code into our family of consumer codes, a hallmark for excellent consumer protection and customer service, said TSI chief executive, Leon Livermore. Approved lettings agents will now be able to proudly display the TSI-approved code logo to distinguish themselves from competition, and consumers dealing with TPO lettings agents can be reassured theyre working with a business determined to deliver high customer satisfaction. Moreover, should any issues arise, the Lettings Code of Practice will give the consumer and the lettings agent an avenue for fair, objective redress. TPOs Lettings Code of Practice is unique in the property industry, because it offers registered agents guidance on all aspects of property and consumer law. It also outlines industry best practice, covering topics such as marketing and advertising, viewings, offers, rent collection, tenancy agreements, deposits and termination of a tenancy. The code was established after new legislation came into force on 1October 2014, requiring every letting agent in England to register with a government-approved redress scheme. Winning approval for TPOs Lettings Code of Practice is a major milestone for the industry, and follows our Sales Code approval last year, said TPO vice-chairman, Gerry Fitzjohn (95 per cent of residential sales agents now follow TPOs Sales Code of Practice). This latest approval will enable letting agents following our Code of Practice to display the TSI logo for the first time. Consumers who are dissatisfied with the service of a registered agent have a right to refer the dispute to TPO, which has the power to direct awards of up to 25,000 for code breaches. The organisations 2014 Interim Report confirmed a significant increase in the number of complaints against letting agents and the number of cases it was able to uphold, with 74 per cent of all landlord and tenant complaints being supported by the ombudsman. The new code is part of TSIs CCAS, with 31,192 member businesses which voluntarily agree to participate in TSIs 14 approved codes. In 2015, the Consumer Codes Approval Board is expected to sanction several more codes. The Simple Products Code approval was announced in December and will be featured in the February edition of TS Today. Credits Published You might also like Ivy Hughes is a communications Tuesday 6 January 2015 Now youre talking! November 2014 executive at TSI. Images: Alexander Raths / Shutterstock To share this page, click on in the toolbar "