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Investigating your concerns

Investigating your concerns

Those who report concerns about a Regulated Members can find out information about what happens next.

Regulated Members are RICS professionals and regulated firms.

What happens next?

We will review the information you have provided to us. If your concerns do not suggest misconduct or incompetence of a Regulated Member, we will not take any further action and we will write to you to let you know the reasons why.

If your concerns suggest misconduct of a Regulated Member, we will investigate further. We will contact you to discuss your concerns and may ask you for more information. We may also contact the Regulated Member for more information and to ask them to explain their conduct.

Throughout our investigation, you can expect to hear from us every 30 calendar days. In some case we may update you less frequently, we will tell you if this is the case.

When we have finished our investigation, we will tell you the outcome and the reasons why the outcome was reached. We aim to finish most investigations within six months, however due to their nature and complexity some investigations may take longer.

Contact us

Our guidance sets out how we decide when to investigate:

Download: How we decide to investigate

Frequently Asked Questions

  • We cannot award compensation.

    If you are a client (or leaseholder in relation to complaints about property management) you can raise a complaint with the Regulated Member. If you are not happy with their response to the complaint, you can refer the matter to the Regulated Member's alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider. The Regulated Member's ADR provider is separate to RICS and is an independent body that can consider complaints in relation to a Regulated Member's actions. The Regulated Member should have a complaint handling procedure which sets this out. An ADR provider can award compensation if they find in your favour. This is free for consumers.

    You may also consider your legal options. A legal adviser may be able to help you such as a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

  • We may reconsider a decision, if:

    • new evidence of substantial importance is discovered, and it is in the public interest to reconsider the case
    • there has been a serious procedural irregularity
    • the case was close because it was an isolated incident and similar allegations have later been received
  • Most cases are closed without a disciplinary outcome. This is because matters are not sufficiently serious or in the public interest to take disciplinary action. However, we often provide advice to Regulated Members to improve the way in which they work.

    If we decide to take disciplinary action, it could result in:

    • a caution against repeating the conduct or action
    • a reprimand
    • a Regulated Member giving one or more undertakings as to future conduct
    • a fine
    • conditions on the Regulated Member's continued membership/registration with RICS
    • an order requiring a Regulated Member to take a specified action and stating the sanction if the Regulated Member fails to comply with that action
    • the Regulated Member being expelled (removed from membership of RICS) or registration removed
  • A Regulatory Compliance Order is an agreement between RICS and a Regulated Member that they have breached our rules. The Regulated Member makes an admission that they breached RICS rules and agree to an appropriate disciplinary outcome. This order will usually be published on our website.

  • A Disciplinary Panel is independent from RICS and the regulatory department. It provides the profession with an effective, fair and independent judicial body. A hearing is held where it will make a decision on whether disciplinary action should be taken against the Regulated Member and if so, what sanction should be imposed.

    The Panel is made up of members from the Conduct and Appeal Committee. Each Panel includes a Chair, a lay member and a Regulated Member from the Conduct and Appeal Committee.

    You may be asked to attend the hearing as a witness. Most hearings are open to the public, please contact us if you would like to attend.

  • We may investigate poor service where the service is unacceptably low.

    Poor service is less likely to be investigated if:

    • there is a single incident of poor service
    • the service complaint has been resolved by an alternative dispute resolution provider
    • the issues of service could be dealt with under the Regulated Member's complaints handling procedure.

    Poor service is more likely to be investigated if:

    • the service has caused a large loss to the client or loss to a large number of clients.
    • we have received other complaints about service
    • there are other concerns about the Regulated Member's conduct.

    In most cases, you can resolve a complaint of poor service with the Regulated Member.

  • You can raise it directly with the Regulated Member who was instructed. If you are the client, you can ask them for their complaints handling procedure. This should include the option of referring your complaint to an alternative dispute resolution provider, who can award compensation.

    If the mistake has resulting in you incurring costs or in a loss to you, you can also take legal action. The Regulated Member should have professional indemnity insurance to cover them for mistakes that they make. You may want to seek legal advice to consider whether this is an option for you.

    We are unlikely to investigate a single mistake in a report unless there is serious professional incompetence. Serious professional incompetence is a standard of professional performance that is unacceptably low and is usually demonstrated by a 'fair sample' of the Regulated Member's work. This means a single example is unlikely to demonstrate incompetence unless it is particularly serious.

  • If you are the client, you can raise it directly with the Regulated Member who produced the valuation and you can ask them for their complaints handling procedure. This should include an alternative dispute resolution provider, who can award compensation.

    If you are not the client, you can raise it with the Regulated Member, however they do not have to answer your concerns.

    Our website, RICS Firms, has a helpful article on undervaluing property

    We are unlikely to investigate a single mistake in a report unless there is serious professional incompetence. Serious professional incompetence is a standard of professional performance that is unacceptably low. We cannot tell you whether or not a valuation issued by a member is correct or provide you with a separate opinion. We can however investigate whether in arriving at the valuation the member complied with our standards.

  • You can raise concerns anonymously; however, we may be limited to what we can do with that information.

    If you provide your name and contact details to us and want to remain anonymous, we will try our best not disclose your information to any third party.

    We cannot guarantee your anonymity as the Regulated Member may identify you from any concerns we raise.

    We will not provide you with any updates on the investigation if you want to remain anonymous.

  • No, we cannot give advice or a second opinion. We will consider any information in line with our rules which may result in us identifying concerns about how the Regulated Member has reached that opinion.

  • If you are a landlord or a leaseholder, you can contact the Regulated Member to get a copy of their complaints handling procedure. This will include an alternative dispute resolution provider, who can consider your complaint if you cannot resolve the dispute with the Regulated Member.

    You can also go to the First Tier Land Tribunal. The Leaseholder Advisory Service may help with some advice on how to resolve your dispute.

  • You can raise your concerns with the party wall surveyor, they can refer the award to another surveyor to decide on disputes. You can also appeal the award to the court.

    We cannot change awards or determine whether an award is valid.

    There is a consumer guide which may give you more information. This guide also includes contact number for the Party Wall Helpline which may be able to offer you some advice.

Find out more about how we regulate