Trading Standards Investigation re restrictive practices RICS members and Property Care Association

william kidd made this Freedom of Information request to Sheffield City Council

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The request was partially successful.

Dear Sheffield City Council,

Members of Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers (who have available to them a suite of awarding body externally verified Diploma Awards totalling over 2000 hours), are unfairly and seemingly illegally discriminated against by RICS surveyors and mortgage lenders in preference to members of a trade body - Property Care Association, PCA.

This has the consequent effect of consumers having to refer such complex surveys to PCA members who have no externally validated awarding body backed Diploma awards, and who only have a 3 day course for surveyors who are then examined and marked by PCA, a sample of whose members were tested by Which Magazine in December 2011 article 'Unnecessary Treatments' and were found to be unable to differentiate between rising damp and a burst pipe and thus recommended unnecessary treatments.

As this practice is UK wide it is unfairly and potentially illegally costing those consumers very large sums of money. While there are numerous consumer laws which should prevent this practice they remain unenforced.

Furthermore ISSE have seen a letter from PCA who are aware that some products used by many PCA members are largely ineffective and expressing concerns to British Board of Agrement that this information should be kept from consumers and PCA contractor members.

Thus insurance backed guarantees for work by PCA members would potentially be invalidated should it be found products were not legally compliant.

This is a potential offence under S2. of the Competition Act 1998 and possibly an offence under s.188 of the Enterprise Act 2002, Cartels - ISSE wrote to the Competition and Markets Authority on April 1st 2014. No response was received initially from CMA and after some further contact, CMA said they did not regard the matter as a priority and were too busy with other matters to investigate.

ISSE therefore wrote to Angela Smith MP who then wrote to CMA who stated they had asked Philip Glaves of Sheffield Trading Standards to investigate. After some initial difficulty in making contact with Mr Glaves he then said he was too busy to take the matter up until July but in any event warned not to hold out much hope.

ISSE therefore agreed July would be acceptable. Towards the end of July several E mails were sent to Mr Glaves by ISSE but no response has been received.

Therefore this restrictive practice should be investigated without further delay to minimise consumer losses and the undertaking delegated by CMA to and provided by Sheffield City Council Trading Standards is a key issue in this matter.

ISSE have now written again to Angela Smith to advise that the matter has not progressed and are preparing to complain to the Council with a view, if necessary and if the matter is not resolved successfully within the 8 week period following any complaint, to then refer the matter to the local government ombudsman.

Can Sheffield City Council please provide records relating to this undertaking, in particular the letter from CMA and summary of any conversation held with them ,and any letters written or conversations Trading Standards to and with RICS and mortgage lenders such as Leeds Building Society where ISSE have written evidence from internal records within that Society of this practice .

Yours faithfully,

william kidd

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Re – Freedom of Information Request – Reference – FOI/703
 
Dear Mr Kidd
 
Thank you for your recent request for information relating to Surveyor
practice investigation by Trading Standards which we received on 26 August
2014
 
This has been logged as a Freedom of Information Request, and will be
dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act.  The reference number for
your request can be found above.
 
The Freedom of Information Act states that we must respond to you within
20 working days, therefore, you should expect to hear a response from us
by 23 September 2014
 
In the meantime, if you have any queries please contact me on 0114
2734567.
 
Kind Regards
 
 
FOI Support Team
Moorfoot Level 8 West Wing
Sheffield S1 4PL
E-mail : [1][Sheffield City Council request email]
 Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to
 
 
 
 
_____________________________________________
From: william kidd [[2]mailto:[FOI #226665 email]]
Sent: 24 August 2014 10:51
To: FOI
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Trading Standards Investigation
re restrictive practices RICS members and Property Care Association
 
 
Dear Sheffield City Council,
 
Members of Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers (who have
available to them a suite of awarding body externally verified Diploma
Awards totalling over 2000 hours), are unfairly and seemingly illegally
discriminated against by RICS surveyors and mortgage lenders in preference
to members of a trade body - Property Care Association, PCA.
 
This has the consequent effect of consumers having to refer such complex 
surveys to PCA members who have no externally validated awarding body
backed Diploma awards, and who only have a 3 day course for surveyors who
are then examined and marked by PCA, a sample of whose members were tested
by Which Magazine in December 2011 article 'Unnecessary Treatments' and
were found to be unable to differentiate between rising damp and a burst
pipe and thus recommended unnecessary treatments.
 
As this practice is UK wide it is unfairly and potentially illegally
costing those consumers very large sums of money. While there are numerous
consumer laws which should prevent this practice they remain unenforced.
 
Furthermore ISSE have seen a letter from PCA who are aware that some
products used by many PCA members are largely ineffective and expressing
concerns to British Board of Agrement that this information should be kept
from consumers and PCA contractor members. 
 
Thus insurance backed guarantees for work by PCA members would potentially
be invalidated should it be found products were not legally compliant. 
 
This is a potential offence under S2. of the Competition Act 1998 and
possibly an offence under s.188 of the Enterprise Act 2002, Cartels - ISSE
wrote to the Competition and Markets Authority on April 1st 2014.    No
response was received initially from CMA and after some further contact,
CMA said they did not regard the matter as a priority and were too busy
with other matters to investigate.
 
ISSE therefore wrote to Angela Smith MP who then wrote to CMA who stated
they had asked Philip Glaves of Sheffield Trading Standards to
investigate. After some initial difficulty in making contact with Mr
Glaves he then said he was too busy to take the matter up until July but
in any event warned not to hold out much hope.
 
ISSE therefore agreed July would be acceptable. Towards the end of July
several E mails were sent to Mr Glaves by ISSE but no response has been
received.
 
Therefore this restrictive practice should be investigated without further
delay to minimise consumer losses and the undertaking delegated by CMA to
and provided by Sheffield City Council Trading Standards is a key issue in
this matter.
 
ISSE have now written again to Angela Smith to advise that the matter has
not progressed and are preparing to complain to the Council with a view,
if necessary and if the matter is not resolved successfully within the 8
week period following any complaint, to then refer the matter to the local
government ombudsman.
 
Can Sheffield City Council please provide records relating to this
undertaking, in particular the letter from CMA and summary of any
conversation held with them ,and any letters written or conversations
Trading Standards to and with RICS and mortgage lenders such as Leeds
Building Society where ISSE have written evidence from internal records
within that Society of this practice . 
 
Yours faithfully,
 
william kidd
 
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FOI, Sheffield City Council

16 Attachments

Dear William Kidd

 

Re: Freedom of Information Request – Reference FOI/703

 

Thank you for your recent request for information regarding Surveyor
practice investigation by Trading Standards, which we received on 24
August 2014.

 

Please find below, Sheffield City Council’s response to your request:

 

·         Please find attached all documents relating to Mr William Kidd’s
original enquiry and his recent Freedom of Information enquiry. 

I hope the information we have provided is of help to your enquiries.  If
you have any queries about this response, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

 

If you are unhappy with the response you have received in relation to your
request, you are entitled to have this reviewed.  You can ask for an
internal review by either writing to the above address or by emailing
[1][Sheffield City Council request email].

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your internal review, you
can contact the Information Commissioners Office. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF, telephone 0303 123
113, or for further details see their website [2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Kind Regards,

 

FOI Support Team

Moorfoot Level 8 West Wing

Sheffield S1 4PL

E-mail : [3][Sheffield City Council request email]

Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to

 

 

_____________________________________________
From: william kidd [[4]mailto:[FOI #226665 email]]
Sent: 24 August 2014 10:51
To: FOI
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Trading Standards Investigation
re restrictive practices RICS members and Property Care Association

 

Dear Sheffield City Council,

 

Members of Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers (who have
available to them a suite of awarding body externally verified Diploma
Awards totalling over 2000 hours), are unfairly and seemingly illegally
discriminated against by RICS surveyors and mortgage lenders in preference
to members of a trade body - Property Care Association, PCA.

 

This has the consequent effect of consumers having to refer such complex 
surveys to PCA members who have no externally validated awarding body
backed Diploma awards, and who only have a 3 day course for surveyors who
are then examined and marked by PCA, a sample of whose members were tested
by Which Magazine in December 2011 article 'Unnecessary Treatments' and
were found to be unable to differentiate between rising damp and a burst
pipe and thus recommended unnecessary treatments.

 

As this practice is UK wide it is unfairly and potentially illegally
costing those consumers very large sums of money. While there are numerous
consumer laws which should prevent this practice they remain unenforced.

 

Furthermore ISSE have seen a letter from PCA who are aware that some
products used by many PCA members are largely ineffective and expressing
concerns to British Board of Agrement that this information should be kept
from consumers and PCA contractor members. 

 

Thus insurance backed guarantees for work by PCA members would potentially
be invalidated should it be found products were not legally compliant. 

 

This is a potential offence under S2. of the Competition Act 1998 and
possibly an offence under s.188 of the Enterprise Act 2002, Cartels - ISSE
wrote to the Competition and Markets Authority on April 1st 2014.    No
response was received initially from CMA and after some further contact,
CMA said they did not regard the matter as a priority and were too busy
with other matters to investigate.

 

ISSE therefore wrote to Angela Smith MP who then wrote to CMA who stated
they had asked Philip Glaves of Sheffield Trading Standards to
investigate. After some initial difficulty in making contact with Mr
Glaves he then said he was too busy to take the matter up until July but
in any event warned not to hold out much hope.

 

ISSE therefore agreed July would be acceptable. Towards the end of July
several E mails were sent to Mr Glaves by ISSE but no response has been
received.

 

Therefore this restrictive practice should be investigated without further
delay to minimise consumer losses and the undertaking delegated by CMA to
and provided by Sheffield City Council Trading Standards is a key issue in
this matter.

 

ISSE have now written again to Angela Smith to advise that the matter has
not progressed and are preparing to complain to the Council with a view,
if necessary and if the matter is not resolved successfully within the 8
week period following any complaint, to then refer the matter to the local
government ombudsman.

 

Can Sheffield City Council please provide records relating to this
undertaking, in particular the letter from CMA and summary of any
conversation held with them ,and any letters written or conversations
Trading Standards to and with RICS and mortgage lenders such as Leeds
Building Society where ISSE have written evidence from internal records
within that Society of this practice . 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

william kidd

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[5][FOI #226665 email]

 

Is [6][Sheffield City Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Sheffield City Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:

[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

 

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

 

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

 

 

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