The Property Redress Scheme (PRS) has announced it now has a membership of 2,000 individual property agents and professionals.
The PRS is the new consumer redress scheme for the property industry whose role is to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between property agents and their consumers.
As of 1 October 2014, it became a legal requirement for all letting and property management agents in England, as defined by legislation, to join one of three consumer redress schemes authorised by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The PRS describes reaching this milestone so quickly as a very positive step in the right direction towards improving industry standards. Tim Frome, managing director of the PRS, said: “This surge in membership has really exceeded our expectations. Estimates suggested there were 3,000-4,000 letting agents who would need to join a redress scheme. To achieve a membership of 2,000 in such a short time suggests that the majority of these agents have chosen to join the PRS or the number of prospective members was underestimated.”
Sean Hooker, head of redress for the PRS, believes that their decision to do things differently has been a huge supporting factor in the scheme’s success so far. He said: “We offer two different membership options so our scheme is both affordable and flexible whilst covering the needs of different types of agents. Giving agents the opportunity to decide which model is best suited to them is something that sets us apart from the other two schemes and has contributed greatly to us reaching the 2,000 member target in such a short space of time.”
Of the 2,000 members, 78 % of these have selected the “Entry Model” which is a pay-as-you-go structure where the agent pays a smaller application fee of £95 + VAT and then pays per complaint should the PRS receive it. The remaining members have opted for an all-inclusive “Enhanced” model that covers both their application and their complaints (subject to a fair usage policy) and costs £199 + VAT.
So far, over 97% of members have joined as a property agent with nearly 3% joining the scheme on a voluntary basis as a property professional.