Trading Standards Officers across the country are conducting spot checks on high streets to make sure agents are complying with the law and displaying their redress membership.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015, known as the 'ADR Regulations', officially came into force in October 2015, which made it a legal requirement for businesses to:
• Advise complainants of their redress membership
• Display the contact details of their redress scheme and the 12 month timescale for referring disputes
Under the current legislation, Trading Standards Officers have the powers to impose fines of up to &5,000 on any letting agent that fails to display its fees, and a raft recent press articles have reported a growing number of fines being enforced.
With the festive season upon us, now is the time to review your branch windows, printed materials and websites, to ensure you are complying with the law and displaying your redress membership.
We’ve published a checklist below to ensure you pass any visit from your local Trading Standards Office with flying colours…
• Please ensure your TPO membership is stated in your contract terms, along with a link to the scheme’s website (www.tpos.co.uk) along with the 12 month timescale for referring disputes
• Trading Standards Officers have been looking at company websites so please ensure TPO’s name and website address is featured on your website so consumers know where they can refer a complaint to.
TPO’s Terms of Membership also state that members are required to:
• Prominently display the TPO logo in the window of every branch office
Ensure TPO’s logo features on the agent’s marketing literature, advertisements, letterheads and any terms of business/service contracts
• Make copies of TPO’s latest Codes of Practice and the TPO Consumer Guide available in every office
Please review and complete this checklist and Tweet @TPOmb so we can share pics of your office and website proudly displaying the TPO logo!