The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has overhauled its dispute resolution process to deliver a more streamlined service to consumers.  The TPO helps more than 16,000 consumers and agents to resolve property disputes every year.

Under the new structure, complaints will be allocated to multi-disciplinary case teams, to manage the process from start to finish.  The teams include specialist adjudicators, dispute resolution advisors and case management officers.  The TPO has also appointed Jane Erskine to the new role of Deputy Ombudsman to support the scheme’s development and growth.

The developments are backed up by the installation of new client relationship management (CRM) and telephone systems and the launch of a new online portal.  The ombudsman says this will transform the way the scheme reviews complaints by allowing agents and consumers to review live case updates.

Jane Erskine started her career as a solicitor in private practice before joining TPO as a case officer in 2007.  She has climbed the ranks of the organisation becoming an integral part of the ombudsman’s senior management team. “Jane’s extensive experience and intimate knowledge of case law and the property sector has been a valued asset for many years and I look forward to working with her as we make improvements to enhance our service offering,” said Katrine Sporle, the Property Ombudsman.

The TPO plays an important part in reducing costs from the professional indemnity point of view,” said James Burgoyne, Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professions: “By providing alternative dispute resolution services they help prevent complaints against property agents from turning into far more expensive legal claims. This sometimes comes at a price, and professionals have not always been pleased at the “rough justice” of Ombudsman decisions. Nevertheless the TPO successfully handles thousands of property cases every year and we are very pleased to see that they are working hard to keep their services fit for purpose now and in the future.”

The Property Ombudsman’s press release announcing the appointment has been published on its website.  News of Jane Erskine’s appointment has been also reported by Property Industry Eye and Property Reporter.

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