Complaints Proceedure

Complaints Procedure

SaleBoards LTD (Trading as Southgate Estates) Complaints Procedure (2012)
(Version 1.5 – Revised 2023)
It is the policy of SaleBoards LTD to always offer the highest possible standard of service and always maintain integrity with all our clients and customers. In the unlikely event of any grievance against SaleBoards, the following procedure should be used:

Stage 1 – Initial Contact from complainant & Response from Southgate Estates
• The complainant should write to SaleBoards LTD detailing the complaint. The complaint should be addressed to:
Dr Jonathan Newall
Managing Director
SaleBoards LTD,
51 South Street,
• In your letter you should include:
– Details of how we have failed to meet expectations
– Details of what we could have done to avoid the complaint
– Details of what you would like us to do to correct this matter (if you are asking for compensation, please state the level of compensation you would accept)
• Southgate Estates will acknowledge the complaint in writing within 3 working days after receipt of a complaint. Information regarding The Property Ombudsman will be included in the response.
• Legal advice may be sought by Southgate Estates if appropriate and we may share the information contained within any complaint with our lawyers.
• We will not publish your complaint but do reserve the right to discuss the complaint with third parties where other parties are involved or affected.
• Southgate Estates will respond to the complainant within 15 working days of the date of receipt of the complaint.
• In the event that further information or advice is required to ensure the complaint is dealt with fairly, the complainant will be advised of progress and a new timescale agreed to resolve the complaint. If your complaint involves any third parties, we may write to the individuals involved for clarification of the train of events leading to the complaint.
• If the complaint is likely to impact the sale or purchase or letting of a property, we may need to share some of the details with our client (or purchaser or tenant). In some cases, this may include information not contained in the complaint itself, but which we consider may have a bearing on any decision made. We will generally not share personal information such as addresses, email addresses or telephone numbers or other information which would normally be viewed as confidential.
• All initial requests for further information will be made within 15 working days of receipt of the complaint. Should further information come to light during the period of investigation, we may increase this time period to allow all relevant evidence to be gathered.
• Once Southgate Estates are satisfied that they are in receipt of all relevant information and have reviewed the complaint internally, an apology or offer of compensation may be made or a letter explaining why the complaint was not upheld will be issued. This letter will be sent within 15 working days of receiving all the necessary information to fully deal with the complaint.
• Any decision will generally be based on current UK law and will take into account current Consumer Protection Regulations, the Estate Agency Act (1979) and the latest TPO (The Property Ombudsman) Code of Conduct.

Stage 2 – Client not satisfied with the outcome of a Stage 1 Response
• In the event that the complainant is not satisfied with the response made by the company under Stage 1 of this process, then they may ask for the case to be further reviewed and re-considered by the company directors.
• A letter titled ‘Stage 2 Complaint’ should be written to the company.  This letter should clearly explain why the response was unsatisfactory.
• The company will acknowledge receipt of a Stage 2 Complaint within 3 working days.  If the complainant has not received such a response, then they should call to confirm that the complaint has been received.
• The Stage 2 Complaint will be reviewed by the company at Director level.  A full response will be issued within 14 working days, which may contain an amended offer or explanation to that given in the Stage 1 Response.
• The company may look to extend this period of necessary, to allow a thorough investigation to be conducted.  If this is the case, the complainant will be notified of the delay within 14 working days.
• If the complainant is still not satisfied, The Property Ombudsman may be consulted as detailed in Stage 3. Southgate Estates will issue a final viewpoint letter at this stage. A copy of the TPO Consumer Guide will be enclosed.

Stage 3 – The Property Ombudsman or ARLA
• The complainant may accept or decline any offer made. If the complainant declines the offer, they should notify Southgate Estates as soon as possible or in any case within 15 working days.
• A further response may still be given by Southgate Estates during this period, which may include a further offer of compensation, apology or further explanation.
• In the event that the final response from Southgate Estates is still not acceptable, the complainant may contact the Property Ombudsman who will act as adjudicators. The case should be referred to The Property Ombudsman (information attached) within 12 months of the response.
• The Property Ombudsman may be contacted at the following address:
The Property Ombudsman
Milford House
43-55 Milford Street
Tel 01722 333306

Final Resolution
• Both parties will follow the Property Ombudsman procedures and their decision is final.
• Any payment of compensation will be made within 90 days of the decision (or as prescribed by the ombudsman) and in accordance with the latest Ombudsman Code of Practice and any judgement given relating to this case.