#ExpertView: TDS appoints an Independent Complaints Reviewer

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#ExpertView: TDS appoints an Independent Complaints Reviewer

In this week's #ExpertView, Michael Morgan, Director of Dispute Resolution at TDS, discusses the appointment of Margaret Doyle as Independent Complaints Reviewer.

At TDS, we like to lead the way. That’s why we’re the first tenancy deposit protection provider in the country to appoint an external Independent Complaints Reviewer, Margaret Doyle. 

The role of the Reviewer will be to look at the way TDS has investigated complaints about its service in order to ensure that the process has been fair and transparent, and that the issues raised have been properly considered. 

Bringing more than 20 years’ experience to the newly-created role, Margaret Doyle is a consultant in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and an independent mediator. 

She is a Visiting Research Fellow with the UK Administrative Justice Institute at the University of Essex. She has served as a non-executive director of several ombuds schemes and is currently an independent member of the Ombudsman Association's Validation Committee. 

She is the independent complaints moderator for the British Acupuncture Council and formerly served as an independent complaints reviewer for IDRS Ltd and Ombudsman Services Ltd. She is a consultant trainer on the Queen Margaret University Certificate in Ombudsman and Complaint Handling Practice course. 

In our 2018 Annual Review, we reported that fewer than 1% of tenancy deposits TDS protects ended in a dispute – a total of 14,430. Of these 14,430 disputes, just 2.65% resulted in a complaint being made about the adjudication decision, or the service received. The average number of complaints received in 2018 was 32 per month, split relatively evenly between tenants (36%), letting agents (23%) and landlords (41%). 

We take any complaints about our service very seriously and strive for the highest standards of complaints handling practice. If a complainant remains unhappy about TDS’ response to their formal complaint about an adjudication decision or other aspect of TDS’ customer service, they can escalate it to the Independent Complaints Reviewer. This role does not make Margaret a TDS staff member but someone who is appointed by the TDS Board to take an independent view of complaints and report annually to the Board on her work. 

As the only not-for-profit tenancy deposit protection scheme operating in England and Wales, TDS is committed to a programme of continuous investment in our systems, processes, people and service. Margaret’s appointment is part of that ongoing strategy and we are proud to have her on board.

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About the author

Having practised as a solicitor, Michael Morgan has been involved in dispute resolution for over 20 years. His previous roles have included leading the consumer advice service for Hertfordshire Trading Standards; Michael was also the Chief Conciliation Officer for Qualitas, the Furniture Ombudsman, where he took a formative role in its transition to Ombudsman status. 

Michael joined TDS in 2006 as a Deputy Independent Case Examiner. He is now responsible for the overall management of its dispute resolution service and the quality of its adjudication functions. Michael has also led a number of key ‘behind the scenes’ innovations at TDS. 

Michael has also been asked to judge in the UK Complaint Handling Awards since 2017,and f the Deputy Chair of the Ombudsman Association’s Casework Interest Group. 

About TDS

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect. 

We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits. 

TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy. 

TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy. 

TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes. 

TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland's leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme. 

TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing. 

These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees. 

ARLA|Propertymark: For agents who would like to stay up to date, you can contact Propertymark | ARLA at: join@propertymark.com. By being a member of Propertymark | ARLA you will be eligible for TDS Insured best headline rates. 

RLA: If you are a landlord and would like to keep up to date with any changes that may affect you or your responsibilities, you can contact the RLA at: info@rla.org.uk and quote reference: dg715 to receive 25% off your first year's membership.


Posted by Michael Morgan on 26 March 2019

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