Consumer complaints about property agents will be available online.

Consumer complaints about property agents will be available online following the launch of The Property Ombudsman’s (TPO) new member agent portal.  Agents will be able to view the latest status of complaints against them and check progress of cases.  They will also be able to upload files about investigations, which TPO says will “improve the speed and effectiveness of case reviews.

All member agents will need to register for the new portal, even if they have never received a complaint about their service. TPO says that registration will be staggered over a number of months, to ensure that all agents can access the portal.

Property agents will also be able to use the new portal to update their contact information and complete membership renewals. Katrine Sporle, the Property Ombudsman says that the portal will “transform the way the scheme reviews complaints by allowing agents and consumers to review live case updates, with additional functions for agents who will soon be able to renew their membership and update their contact systems at the click of a button”.

The Property Ombudsman scheme provides consumers and property agents with an alternative dispute resolution service.  Its decisions are intended to achieve a final settlement of disputes and the Ombudsman can award compensation of up to £25,000 for losses.

Alternative dispute resolution is a highly effective means to resolve disputes between members of the public and professionals,” said James Burgoyne, Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professions said: “It can prevent negligence complaints from escalating to a point where they end up in court, saving significant time and costs for agents and their insurers.”

Information about the new service has been published on TPO’s website and by The Negotiator.