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HiRUM Software Solutions

Office Of Fair Trading Inspections

Posted by HiRUM Software Solutions - 30/01/2014

The Office of Fair Trading has recently been conducting random inspections

Some of the items that they seem to be targeting include ensuring that businesses have the correct signage displaying the details of the Licencee, that the agency has a complaint handling procedure in place with details easily accessible to clients, and that an up to date employment register is held.  These are very simple items to have effectively covered at your office, and The OFT has provided some samples of what these particular documents should cover.  If you do not already have these items in place and displayed as required, now is the time to ensure that you have all these aspects covered off.  We have detailed some of the relevant legislation below to guide you (although not exhaustive) and have also attached some documents provided as examples by the OFT to help you meet these requirements.

44

How NOT to deal with complaints!

 

 

 

Complaint Resolution

Property Agents and Motor Dealers (Restricted Letting Agency Practice Code of Conduct) Regulation 2001, Page 20
Current as at 1 December 2009

Part 5 Complaint resolution
38 Principal licensee to have complaint handling procedure
(1) This section applies to a restricted letting agent who is a
principal licensee.
(2) The agent must have a reasonable, simple and easy to use
procedure in place for handling complaints by clients or
customers of the agent.
(3) The agent must have information readily available to inform
clients and customers of the procedure.
(4) The information must include the following details—
(a) how a complaint is to be made;
(b) when a complaint must be in writing and when it may be
oral;
(c) the person who is to handle the complaint.                                                                          

OFT sample document – How We Handle Complaints

OFT Example- Notice that business operates under PAMDA and Code Of Conduct and has Complaint Resolution Procedure

OFT Example -Business Abides By Code Of Conduct under PAMDA                                                                                                              

Display Of Licensee’s Name

123 Display and publication of licensee’s name

(Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000)

(1) A resident letting agent who is a principal licensee must
display at each place the resident letting agent carries on
business, in the way that may be prescribed under a
regulation—
(a) the letting agent’s name; and
(b) if the letting agent is not the person in charge of the
letting agent’s business at the place, the name of the
resident letting agent who is in charge of the letting
agent’s business at the place; and
(c) the other particulars that may be prescribed under a
regulation.
13 Display and publication of licensee’s name
(Property Agents and Motor Dealers Regulation 2001)
(1) This section applies for sections 123, 158, 195, 252, 273, 328
and 3528 of the Act.
(2) The principal licensee must display in lettering at least 1.5cm
in height at each place of business—
(a) the licensee’s name followed by the word ‘licensee’; and
(b) if the licensee is not the person in charge of the business
at the place, the name of the person in charge at the
place; and
(c) the category of the licensee’s licence.
Example for paragraph (c)—
Property agents and motor dealers licence (real estate agent).
(3) The names and category must be displayed in a conspicuous
position at each of the principal licensee’s places of business
so it is clearly visible when entering the place of business.

Employment Register

Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000
Chapter 4 Resident letting agents
Part 3 General

24 Principal licensee must keep employment register
(1) A resident letting agent who is a principal licensee must keep
a register (employment register) at each place where the
letting agent carries on business.
Maximum penalty—200 penalty units.

Property Agents and Motor Dealers Regulation 2001
Part 3 Licences and registration certificates
Page 12 Current as at 1 January 2014

15 Employee particulars for employment register
(1) For sections 124, 159, 196, 253, 274, 329 and 353 of the Act,
the following particulars for each employee are prescribed—
(a) for each employed licensee—the employed licensee’s
licence number;
(b) for each registered employee—the registered
employee’s registration number;
(c) the expiry date of the employee’s licence or registration
certificate;
(d) the date the employee started employment with the
principal licensee;
(e) if the employee’s employment with the principal
licensee has been terminated, the date of the
termination.
(2) In this section—
employee includes a trainee auctioneer.
16 Form of employment register
The employment register may be kept in a hard copy or an
electronic form.


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