NewsPRESS RELEASE – IMMEDIATE ISSUE Issue date: 20th August 2013 Thomas & Rawson Ltd becomes an approved trader with the Consumer Code Approval Scheme Members of The Property Ombudsman scheme celebrate their Sales Code approval with the Trading Standards Institute As a member of the UK’s largest property ombudsman scheme, Thomas & Rawson Ltd is one of 11,745 residential sales agents that have signed up to TPO’s Sales Code of Practice. The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has now become the first property organisation to have a Code of Practice approved by The Trading Standard Institute (TSI) under their Consumer Code Approval Scheme. More than 95 percent of the residential sales market is signed up to TPO’s Sales Code of Practice and redress service, which is a free, independent and impartial dispute resolution service for consumers. This news means all home owners and buyers using the services of Thomas & Rawson Ltd are all covered by TPO’s Sales Code of Practice. Thomas & Rawson Ltd is now listed on TSI’s online directory of approved traders. Consumers will be able to look for TPO sales agents through TSI’s dedicated database on www.tradingstandards.gov.ukand through the Citizens Advice Bureau’s website, to find a member of an approved code in their area. TPO sales agents will now be able to display the TSI Approved Code logo in their advertising, branches and within company literature[i]. Confirming the news, Property Ombudsman Christopher Hamer said: “I am delighted that TPO has become the largest organisation to win approval from TSI for its Consumer Code Approval Scheme. The TPO Code is a recognised set of standards throughout the industry but it is important that it is also seen as being independently approved by a credible organisation. “With the OFT’s withdrawal from the code approval process it is good news that TSI have stepped in to fulfil the important role of rigorous examination and approval for consumer-focussed codes.” Mr Hamer added: “This news means that agents who are members of TPO actively offer the highest level of consumer protection for buyers and sellers. We are in active discussions with TSI to achieve scheme approval for the Lettings Code of Practice.” Peter Baczala Director of Thomas & Rawson Ltd commented “With public perception of Estate and Letting Agents at an all time low and people’s confidence and trust diminishing as a result of some Agents unscrupulous and exploitative technique’s, this approval is great news for the consumer, as it will be posible to instruct an Agent in the knowledge that the service provided will adhere to a very strict Code of Practise and if standards are not met, there is a recognised organisation that has to be answered to”. He went on to say “ It will be a great relief when the ‘Lettings Code of Practice’ has been approved, as with the recent increased activity in the lettings market there have been a wave of new letting agents open, I have seen many example’s of inexperienced Letting Agents putting their Landlords at risk through either lack of knowledge, complacency or plain incompetence. Thomas & Rawson Ltd have been trading for 24 years handling all aspects of property and are recognised for being trusted professionals”. Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “We deal with over a million consumer problems each year and know how difficult it is for people to find a seller they can trust, the Approved Trader Scheme will help to combat this.” TPO is among the first trade bodies sponsoring the new code and has also become the largest organisation to be accredited by the scheme since it replaced the Office of Fair Trading’s scheme earlier this year. There are now with 26,530 approved traders signed up to one of the ten codes of practice. TPO joins: British Association of Removers, British Healthcare Trades Association, Debt Managers Standards Association, Institute of Professional Will Writers, Motor Codes Ltd, Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd, Robert Bosch Ltd, The Carpet Foundation and Vehicle Builders Repairers Association Ltd. ENDS Notes to the editor: Trading Standards Institute (TSI) TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. It aims to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. The Trading Standards Institute also hosts the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) which provides consumer advice with regards to cross border disputes within the EU and also the European Consumer Centre Service (ECCS). What is The Property Ombudsman (TPO)? The Property Ombudsman scheme has been offering a free, independent and impartial dispute resolution service to consumers who are dissatisfied with the service provided by registered firms since 1990. The Ombudsman can provide redress to place the consumer back in the position they occupied before the complaint arose to achieve a full and final settlement of the dispute and all claims made by either party. Where appropriate, the Ombudsman can make compensatory awards in individual cases up to a maximum of £25,000 for actual and quantifiable loss and / or for aggravation, distress and inconvenience caused by the actions of a registered firm. The Property Ombudsman currently provides redress for consumers using 25,500 offices in the UK (inc. 11,745 residential sales estate agency branches and 10,391 residential lettings offices). Independence Whilst TPO charges registered firms an annual subscription, the Ombudsman is accountable to the TPO Council, the majority of which is made up of non-industry members. The Council appoints the Ombudsman and sets his Terms of Reference (i.e. how the complaint process operates). The Ombudsman is required to report to the Council on a regular basis. The Ombudsman is not a regulator and does not have the authority to take regulatory or legal action against a registered firm. However, member firms can be referred to the TPO Disciplinary and Standards Committee, appointed by the Council, which has the power to expel firms from the scheme and / or report them to the Office of Fair Trading, which has the ability to ban firms from carrying out estate agency business. Further information The Ombudsman’s Terms of Reference, the Codes of Practice, Consumer Guides and other documents about the operation of the scheme are available on our website (www.tpos.co.uk), together with previous annual and interim reports, further explanation of governance arrangements and a full list of registered firms. For press information, please contact: Gemma Stacey Press & Communications Manager The Property Ombudsman Limited M: 07415 684548 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/TPOmb For more information about TPO, please visit our website at www.tpos.co.uk
INTRODUCTORY OFFER FOR NEW LANDLORDS
Dear Potential Landlord,
Thomas & Rawson are the Longest Established Family Run Independent Estate & Letting Agent in Poole, having been Etablished for 24 Years, we have continued to develop our reputation for professional, sound and above all honest advice. Our team of professionals have a passion for what they do and strive to ensure customer satisfaction.
If you request a Free Rental Appraisal from Thomas & Rawson, you will be visited by a Director of the Company who will be an ARLA Member and will advise you based on many years experience of the local market.
"Our Landlords ARE our business" and with this philosophy we have prospered, as Landlords remain Loyal to us knowing that we always act in their best interest and we do everything to protect them at all times. That feeling of protection comes in many forms as we are not only very selective when it comes to choosing a tenant, but we also go to great lengths to ensure our ever evolving agreements are accurate, we have detailed inventory's and check-out's carried out by an independent company, we are members of the NAEA, ARLA, we pay for "Client Money Protection" with The NFOPP, we are licenced with The Office of Fair Trading and our deposits are protected by the TDS. I know of no other agent in Poole that offers this level of protection.
It is an excellent time for Landlords, as demand for rental property is out-stripping supply. This ultimately means that rents are increasing and it has become easier to find high quality tenants as there is more choice. As a result of this shortage of property we are offering New Landlords an exceptional package that will save you around £500 in up front cost's in comparison to other agents fee's and we will only charge you a monthly commission.
We get to hear every day what our competitors charge their Landlords and how rents get eaten up in Fee's, here are some example's of this: A Poole agent charges their Landlords a Set-Up Fee of £240 + Vat whenever they find a new tenant, the same agent will charge you a renewal fee of £50 + Vat whenever they re-new an agreement with their tenant, there are fee's to protect the Dilapidation Deposit, last week we established that an agent in Parkstone charges their landlord's £90 plus Vat for a Gas Safety Certificate and if their landlords decide to use their own plumber (that would no doubt be cheaper), that agent will charge a "scanning fee" of £25 + Vat to administer the paperwork. (Thomas & Rawson currently charge their Landlords £35 + Vat for Gas Safety Certificates and if you are a New Landlord Thomas & Rawson will cover the cost of your first Gas Safety-check Landlords Offers).
If you would like more information as to how we can save you money, just click on our Landlords page below or alternatively call us on 01202-721131 where we will be happy to help.
Peter T Baczala MARLA MNAEA
Thomas & Rawson Ltd.
Tenant's can feel safe in the knowledge that unlike most Agents we are totally transparent where it come's to Tenant Fee's. Our Tenant Fee's are detailed in 'About Us' above.