The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme recently launched two new versions of its Code of Practice for sales and lettings agents operating in Scotland, and to officially mark the launch of TPO Scotland, we invited individuals from leading industry associations, agents and local journalists to join the Scottish Board and the Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, for a celebration.
The event took place at the Offices of Braemore Lettings in Edinburgh and proved to be a great success with guests enjoying a buffet lunch and a glass of wine.
TPO Scotland is an independent scheme and has been launched to ensure industry best practice through its new and approved Codes of Practice. Members of TPO Scotland must adhere to the Codes, while their customers have access to a robust dispute resolution process if things go wrong. Although membership for letting agents is currently voluntary, although a significant number of agents in the country are already registered with the scheme, there are major benefits that come from being associated with TPO Scotland which represents a mark of quality and reassurance for buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords. Our aim is to help agents develop their staff in industry standards to come in line with current laws. The property industry is continuously changing and the Private Rented Sector in particular is growing at a rapid pace. There is a drive to set standards in progress through the Scottish Government with a consultation recently launched which will see a major overhaul of legislation in the Private Rented Sector. The industry itself sees the value of regulation and both our Codes have been created to go hand in hand with recent improvements and the changing nature of the Private Rented Sector.
The new Codes, which came into force on 1st March 2015, are unique to TPO and were written with input from the industry with representatives of The Scottish Government, Shelter, The National Association of Estate Agents, Association of Residential Letting Agents and several property agents.
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has been operating throughout the UK for 25 years and its Codes of Practice have received Consumer Code Approval from The Trading Standards Institute (TSI). The new TPO Scottish Sales and Lettings codes have also received indpendent accreditation from TSI emphasising that the Codes set a standard for consumer protection. Our Codes are comprehensive and cover all aspects of the latest property and consumer laws, and we therefore urge consumers to use an agent who is a member of TPO Scotland in order to safeguard themselves as much as possible. More than 500 estate agencies and lettings firms are TPO Scotland accredited and TPO encourage tenants, landlords and property owners to seek out these agencies.
TPO’s new Sales and Lettings Codes for Scotland are now available to view on TPO’s website.