Property Factor Complaints Handling Procedure
7.1 A property factor must have a written complaints handling procedure. The procedure should be applied consistently and reasonably. It is a requirement of section 1 of the Code: WSS that the property factor must provide homeowners with a copy of its complaints handling procedure on request.
The procedure must include:
- The series of steps through which a complaint must pass and maximum timescales for the progression of the complaint through these steps. Good practice is to have a 2 stage complaints process.
- The complaints process must, at some point, require the homeowner to make their complaint in writing.
- Information on how a homeowner can make an application to the First-tier Tribunal if their complaint remains unresolved when the process has concluded.
- How the property factor will manage complaints from homeowners against contractors or other third parties used by the property factor to deliver services on their behalf.
- Where the property factor provides access to alternative dispute resolution services, information on this.
7.2 When a property factor’s in-house complaints procedure has been exhausted without resolving the complaint, the final decision should be confirmed in writing.
7.3 A property factor must not charge homeowners for handling complaints unless this is explicitly provided for in the property titles.
7.4 A property factor must retain (in either electronic or paper format) all correspondence relating to a homeowner’s complaint for a period of at least 3 years from the date of the receipt of the first complaint.
7.5 Where a property factor has taken over the management of property and land owned by homeowners from another property factor, the previous property factor must co-operate with the current property factor (and vice versa) to ensure the exchange of all necessary or relevant information. This can include, information about outstanding complaints. Where information about an unresolved issue that was the subject of a complaint has been shared with the new, formally appointed factor, they have the option, if they so choose, to progress this complaint rather than starting a new one.
7.6 Complaints that have arisen in connection with issues that arose during the appointment of a previous property factor should be dealt with by that property factor. Any unresolved issues that require to be addressed can be raised with the new, formally appointed property factor if the continuing failure is present after their appointment. This will be dealt with as a new complaint in accordance with their complaints handling procedure.