J H Watson Property Management Limited trading as Watson has the aim of delivering a high quality service at all times, however we understand that sometimes you need to tell us if something has gone wrong. Where any dissatisfaction has initially been communicated to Watson verbally and it has not been possible to resolve the matter by way of discussion, you can then follow this formal complaints procedure. If you choose to make a complaint, written details of the complaint should be submitted and this guidance outlines the procedure that will be adopted in dealing with that complaint.
When we review your complaint, we will aim to establish the best way to resolve the matter in a satisfactory manner for you and this will require thorough investigation and a clear understanding of the circumstances leading to the complaint. We therefore require complaints to be in written format entitled ‘complaint’ and accompanied by evidence and documentation in support of the matters raised. Such supporting documentation depends on the nature of the dispute, however typically includes, but is not limited to:
- The facts of the case
- Your opinion on the facts of the case
- Records or notes of any relevant meetings or telephone calls including dates and times, alongside the names of members of staff involved
- Copies of all relevant correspondence between yourself, Watson, the freeholder and management company
- Confirmation of instruction and acceptance to undertake relevant works including agreed timescales
- Evidence of costs agreed and charged for works alongside evidence of the works carried out. For example, copies of any reports that were provided for complaints about property surveys, copies of site notes, before, during and after works including photographic evidence, details of any re-inspections etc…
- Third party opinions that have been obtained such as second opinions from professionals and evidence of their qualifications and expertise
- Any other evidence relevant to the complaint
In accordance with best practice, we aim to fully complete the steps below within a maximum period of 8 weeks of receipt of the written complaint and satisfactory supporting documentation to allow comprehensive investigation into the complaint.
- Initially, your written complaint and supporting documentation should be sent for the attention of Watson’s Company Secretary in accordance with the above guidelines, who will then allocate the complaint to the best placed person within Watson to handle the complaint. If more than one department is subject to the complaint, the appropriate managers will liaise with each other and appoint a sole respondent. Once received, the allocated complaint handler or appointed respondent will contact you to confirm receipt of your complaint and to request any further relevant supporting information that may be required to investigate the matter. Once we have all the information that we need to review the complaint, we will write to you to confirm this and then commence review of the matter. We will write to you within 20 working days of confirmed receipt of all required information. This correspondence will include the outcome of the investigation and will advise you as to the actions that have been or will be taken.
- If having received the written response of the initially allocated complaint handler you remain dissatisfied, the escalation of the complaint should be put in writing again to Watson’s Company Secretary who will escalate the matter to a Director of Watson for final review and response. Directors will not review complaints that have not been investigated through step 1.
If you are still not satisfied after the last stage of the in-house complaint procedure (or more than 8 weeks has elapsed since the complaint was first made) you can request an independent review from The Property Ombudsman without charge. The Property Ombudsman is free to individual consumers and is able to consider consumer complaints. Alternatively, the Arbitration Procedure for Surveying Disputes is an RICS-approved scheme for dealing with business to business complaints or disputes, which is available to companies as opposed to individuals. The role of Ombudsman and Arbitrator is to investigate disputes in a balanced manner where no agreement can be reached by following the above steps, and as such these bodies will not fully investigate cases until internal procedures are exhausted.
The contact details for the Ombudsman Services Property are: