Complaints Handling Policy
Definition of a Complaint
Complaints can come in many different forms with varying degrees of seriousness. Whilst we acknowledge that any situation which prompts a customer to contact us to express dissatisfaction is important, for the purpose of this document and our obligations under the RICS, we define a complaint as such where it includes one or more of the following:
• Breach of Rules or Guidance issued by any Regulatory Authority to which the Company is subject.
• Failure to comply with any legal obligation.
• Negligence leading to material loss, inconvenience or distress.
• Misrepresentation, bad faith or malpractice.
A complaint involving any of the above will be handled in accordance with our internal complaints handling procedures which govern the acknowledgement, investigation and response to complaints. This document is designed to provide a high level overview of those procedures.
Complaints Handling Procedures
Our Complaints Handling Procedures detail the stages through which a complaint will pass and lay down the turnaround standards that we work to. We are obliged, under the SOS to ensure that complaints are resolved within 12 weeks of receipt and where this is not possible we must provide a reason and estimated completion date. Complaints which are not resolved within the 12 week timescale or which are not resolved to the satisfaction of the customer could be eligible for consideration by the SOS and we are obliged to provide full details as part of our procedure.
Complaints in respect of Residential Lettings should be directed to our Residential Lettings Manager, Marc Howells.
The following provides an outline of how complaints will be handled:
Acknowledgement: We will provide written acknowledgement of complaints communicated to us by telephone, electronic mail or in written form within 5 days of receipt. At this stage, we will give you our understanding of your complaint and we will invite you to make any further comments that you may have in relation to this.
Report Letter: Within fourteen days of receipt of your written summary, we will write to you to inform you of the outcome of the internal investigation into your complaint and to let you know what actions we have taken or will take.
Appeal: If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our handling of your complaint or the outcome of our internal investigation you are eligible to make an appeal to Trevor Isaac, Managing Director. A separate review of your complaint will be carried out and we will contact you within 7 days to inform you of the outcome of this review. However, this stage may be bypassed by the complainant.
Final Response: This will summarise the outcome of all investigations. The letter will be clearly marked as the final response and will include details on the right to referral to the OS*. The letter will be despatched within 4 weeks of the receipt of your appeal and within 8 weeks of receipt of the first communication on the complaint. Where this timescale is not achievable, we will inform you of the reason for the delay.
RICS – Ombudsman Service: Property
OS provides services to resolve disputes in land, property and construction. OS is aimed at business to business and business to consumer. This scheme only comes into operation after the complaints procedure has been completed and a “Final Response “letter has been issued.
The contact details for the *OS are:
Ombudsman Service: Property
3300 Daresbury Park
T: 0845 050 8181 or 01925 530270