Estate agents have had a new sticker to display on their branch windows for a while now. But do any of their clients realise why?
Probably not. Which is why The Property Ombudsman (TPO) which is backing a national campaign to persuade businesses to promote their membership of the Consumer Code Approval Schemes (CCAS).
The schemes, which include 43,000 businesses across many sectors including property, cover consumer spending of some £51 billion every year.
If you’re a TPO member then you’ll soon be getting the window stickers, as all members of the ombudsman are enrolled in the scheme through their membership.
The initiative is part of a week-long campaign launched by Baroness Crawley on Monday to persuade consumers to chooseagents who are TPO members and who therefore adhere to its Code of Conduct, which is one of a family of codes covered by the CCAS scheme.
Codes of conduct
TPO is the only one of the three ombudsman schemes to have its own codes approved by CCAS, having achieved accreditation in 2005 via the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
“TPO has been supportive of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme since it was first launched by Office of Fair Trading many years ago,” says Gerry Fitzjohn, TPO’s Board Chairman (pictured).
“This is because the codes approved by the CCAS not only set out the minimum legal requirements, but place additional obligations on businesses to provide a higher standard of service to consumers. Businesses that sign up to these codes can proudly display their CTSI CCAS logo, demonstrating their commitment to expert service and underlining the enhanced consumer protection available to their clients.
“Over 95% of UK sales agents and 85% of UK letting agents have voluntarily agreed to follow TPO’s approved Sales and Lettings Codes. All of these agents are listed on CTSI’s Approved Code Directory as well as the TPO website, and the sheer number demonstrates the value placed in TPO’s approved codes by the property sector.
“This can only be a good thing for consumers and the industry alike and I would encourage all approved businesses to explain these important benefits to their clients.”