The Property Ombudsman Dealing With HIP Complaints

Select dateComplaints about Home Information Packs (HIPs) which are being sold by estate agents are to be dealt with by The Property Ombudsman.The majority of people with disputes concerning the content of a HIP can ask the Ombudsman to intervene if they fail to resolve the dispute through the HIP provider or search provider’s own internal procedures.

Two bodies covering the residential property sector in respect of consumer redress and industry Codes of Practice have commenced alignment of their consumer enquiry and dispute resolution functions. The Property Codes Compliance Board (PCCB) has begun the transition to direct consumer enquiries to The Property Ombudsman (TPO) and later, in mid-September, will also be moving its consumer redress function to create a simplified redress system for consumers across the whole sector.

The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, has been resolving disputes with regard to estate agents’ actions involving HIPs since packs were introduced in 2007 but his scheme has now been extended to directly include the many HIP and search providers registered with the PCCB.

The move follows the publication of a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this year between the two bodies setting out plans for closer collaborative working.

The majority of people with disputes concerning the content of the HIP can ask the Ombudsman to intervene if they fail to resolve the dispute through the HIP provider or search provider’s own internal procedures.

“It is clearly a positive step that any consumer who feels disadvantaged because of something related to the estate agent, HIP, or personal search for a particular property now has one port of call for how the matter can be independently resolved,” said Mr. Hamer.

“The Board’s role is to try to stop problems arising in the first place by ensuring that all PCCB-registered HIP and Search providers comply with the respective Codes of Practice. It makes sense to align our schemes to provide a single point of contact for consumers and independent redress for their complaints when things go wrong.

Read more about the role of The Property Ombudsman

You can find member estate agents here: The Property Ombudsman members

Useful resources

Office of Fair Trading Estate Agents Redress Schemes

The Property Codes Compliance Board (PCCB)

www.HomeInformationPacks.gov.uk

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