The Property Redress Scheme, one of the three approved ombudsman-style redress schemes for estate and letting agents, is expanding into small claims mediation.
PRS has partnered with a mediation services provider, Small Claims Mediation, which has worked in the past at resolving disputes between letting agents, landlords and tenants. Many of its mediators are chartered surveyors.
SCM’s work is authorised by the government under the Alternative Dispute Service for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015, and Property Redress Scheme says SCM will be called in for cases which are considered more suitable for mediation rather than an adjudication process.
PRS says the advantage of mediation is that it puts the parties in control of the outcome – it does not focus solely on evidence but takes into account the feelings, wishes and interests of those locked within a dispute. It suggests this is particularly beneficial when the parties have an on-going relationship and want to settle the complaint quickly and without the need to submit large amounts of documentation.
“We wish to lead from the front in terms of improving communication and resolution of disputes between our members and their consumers. We think it is important that our complaints handling procedure caters to the huge variety of different complaints we receive” says sean Hooker, head of redress at PRS.
The Property Redress Scheme now has over 3,500 registered member offices.