Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) has become the first of the three
Government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes to appoint a new
external, independent complaints reviewer.
With 20 years’ experience in adjudication and dispute
resolution, Margaret Doyle has taken up the new role.
Doyle is a Visiting Research Fellow with the UK
Administrative Justice Institute at the University of Essex.
She has also served as a non-executive director of several
ombudsman schemes, and is currently an independent member of the Ombudsman
Association’s Validation Committee.
Doyle is also the independent complaints moderator for the
British Acupuncture Council and formerly served as an independent complaints
reviewer for IDRS Ltd and Ombudsman Services Ltd.
In addition, she is a consultant trainer on the Queen
Margaret University Certificate in Ombudsman and Complaint Handling Practice
Doyle says: “Having
an independent and impartial outside reviewer is a key process for
demonstrating robust arrangements exist for ensuring that customer complaints
are dealt with well, and that complainants have the opportunity for review by
someone outside of TDS.
also designed to help TDS learn lessons from complaints and to help improve
appointment was introduced to bolster the scheme’s transparency to members and
the wider private rental sector.
of the independent complaints reviewer will be to look at the way the 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
2018 Annual Review, the TDS reported that less than 1% of its tenancy deposits
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.
average number of complaints received in 2018 was 32 per month, which was split
fairly evenly between tenants (36%), letting agents (23%) and landlords (41%).
Harriott, the Chief Executive of the TDS, says: “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’s response to
their formal complaint about an adjudication decision or other aspect of TDS’s
customer service, they can escalate it to the independent complaints reviewer.
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 their work.”
He adds: “As
the only not-for-profit 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.”