RICS is responsible for ensuring that our members and firms meet the requirements of our Rules of Conduct.
These rules define the professional, ethical and business standards which are expected of our members and firms. They also require firms to have a complaints handling procedure (CHP) to deal with potential complaints about the firm.
Complaining to a regulated firm
If you're not happy about the service you've received from a firm that we regulate and believe that you may be entitled to financial compensation, you should ask the firm for details of its CHP.
Every regulated firm must have this kind of procedure in place and reference to their procedure may be found in its terms and conditions of engagement. If you haven't received details of this, ask the firm for its CHP in writing. Keep a copy of the request letter, along with proof of sending (e.g. email delivery receipt or recorded delivery slip).
The firm's CHP will have two stages:
- Complaints will be considered by a senior member of the firm or a designated complaints handler
- If the complaint cannot be resolved, it will be referred to an independent redress scheme such as an ombudsman. There are a number of redress schemes and the firm's CHP must give details of the redress scheme to which it refers complaints so that you know where to take your complaint.
Complaining to RICS
If you have a complaint to make, you should always contact the member or firm concerned first and deal with your complaint through their CHP.
RICS is responsible for ensuring that our members and the firms we regulate behave in a professional manner and adhere to our rules and regulations. Where members or regulated firms fall short of the standards expected of them, RICS can take appropriate action to ensure the risk of further transgression is minimised.
It is important, however, to recognise what RICS can and cannot investigate.
RICS Regulation service complaints
Any complaints regarding the level of service provided by RICS should be addressed to the manager of the team that you are dealing with. Your complaint will be acknowledged within seven days and you can expect a full response within 21 days. Complaints should be made in writing.
If you are dissatisfied with the response from the team manager you can ask for the case to be referred to the Head of Regulation who will investigate and respond within 21 days. If you prefer to write to the Head of Regulation directly, you can do so at the following address:
Head of Regulation
If the Head of Regulation is unable to resolve the service complaint, we have appointed an Independent Case Reviewer, Walter Merricks CBE, who can consider the service elements of cases. Your complaint and copies of all papers, emails and other notes on file will then be sent to Mr Merricks for review.
Mr Merricks is not an RICS employee; he is an independent consultant and he works from his own office. He may ask you or RICS for more information, but normally this is not necessary. When he has concluded his review you will be sent a copy of his report.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms
Read the next page in this section