As of 1st October 2014, it became a legal requirement for all letting and property management agents in England, as defined by legislation, to join one of three consumer redress schemes authorised by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Property Redress Scheme (PRS) is one of those, launched especially to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between property agents and their consumers.
This week, the Property Redress Scheme (PRS) announced it has now signed up more than 2,000 agents or property professionals as members.
The 2,000th member to join the PRS was Archingtons, which carries out Estate, Lettings and Property Management work in Camden, London.
Michael Kangau, Director of Archingtons, says: “I chose PRS because the joining process was very easy and straightforward. “
Tim Frome, Managing Director of the PRS, says reaching this milestone so quickly is a “very positive step in the right direction” towards improving industry standards.
“This surge in membership has really exceeded our expectations,” he comments. “Estimates suggested there were 3,000-4,000 letting agents who would need to join a redress scheme. To achieve a membership of 2,000 in such a short time suggests that the majority of these agents have chosen to join the PRS or the number of prospective members was underestimated.”
Sean Hooker, Head of Redress for the PRS, believes that their decision to do things differently has been a huge supporting factor in the scheme’s success so far.
He says: “We offer two different membership options so our scheme is both affordable and flexible whilst covering the needs of different types of Agents. Giving Agents the opportunity to decide which model is best suited to them is something that sets us apart from the other two schemes and has contributed greatly to us reaching the 2,000 member target in such a short space of time”.
Of the 2,000 members, 78 per cent of these have selected the Entry Model which is a pay as you go structure where the Agent pays a smaller application fee of £95 + VAT and then pays per complaint should the PRS receive it.
“The remaining members have opted for an all-inclusive Enhanced model that covers both their application and their complaints (subject to a fair usage policy) and costs £199 + VAT.”
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has also announced that its board has voted to accept that membership of the Property Redress Scheme (PRS) would meet ARLA’s own consumer redress scheme requirements.
ARLA membership guidelines state that all ARLA Licenced agents, or those agents wishing to become ARLA Licensed, must belong to an independent redress scheme in order to be a member.
David Cox, Managing Director for ARLA, said: “We’re very pleased to have approved the PRS to cover our consumer redress requirements for ARLA Licensed status. It’s great to see that the PRS has developed a healthy membership in such a short period of time. Furthermore, we have already received enquiries regarding membership from PRS members.”
So far, over 97 per cent of members have joined PRS as a Property Agent with nearly 3 per cent joining the scheme on a voluntary basis as a Property Professional. It continues to see around 20 new members joining each day.
Source: The Movechannel