Property Codes Independent Review Process (Annex B)
1. General application
1.1 The following provisions and procedures shall apply to firms registered under the Search Code (‘Registered Firms’) and prospective registered firms ('Prospective Firms') appealing against any decision by the Property Codes Compliance Board ('the Board') to:
(a) Withdraw the right to be registered by a Registered Firm
(b) Decline the right to be registered by a Prospective Firm
(c) Discipline a Registered Firm
2. The Review
2.1 A Registered Firm or a Prospective Firm shall have the right of review against a decision made by the Board (‘the Board’s Decision’) to discipline, withdraw or to withhold registration, as follows:
(a) Unfair conduct by the Board or any member of the Board in reaching the Board’s decision; and/or
(b) Unfair application by the Board of the Registration Rules in respect of the issuance or withdrawal of registration: and/or
(c) Incorrect application by the Board of the Registration Rules in respect of disciplinary action.
In such circumstances the Registered Firm or the Prospective Firm is known hereafter as the Appellant.
2.2 Any such review invoking this procedure must be notified, in writing, to the Chair of the Board, with a copy to The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), which is the independent administrator (‘the Administrator’) for the appeals process. The review notification must be made within 14 working days of the date of the notification of the Board’s decision.
2.3 The Administrator shall then appoint an independent adjudicator (‘the Adjudicator’) from a panel maintained for this purpose.
2.4 The Administrator may appoint a substitute adjudicator, in the event of the original Adjudicator being unable to attend competently and /or expeditiously to his duties.
2.5 Once appointed the Adjudicator will control the procedure for the conduct of the review and will communicate with or issue directions, including deadlines to the parties direct. Correspondence with the Adjudicator and the submission of evidence and supporting documents or materials by any party must be copied to all parties.
3. Review Procedure
3.1 The review will proceed on the basis of written argument only and each party will be given the opportunity to comment upon the evidence and submissions.
3.2 The Adjudicator’s decision will state whether, in the Adjudicator’s view:
(a) The Board’s conduct and / or application of the Registration Rules was unfair (as described in 2.1(a) and (b) above) and/or;
(b) Whether the Registration Rules were incorrectly applied (as described in 2.1
3.3 The Adjudicator is not liable for anything done or omitted in the discharge or purported discharge of his or her functions as Adjudicator unless the act or omission is shown to have been in bad faith. The same immunity shall extend to CEDR as the Adjudicator Nominating Body and any employee or agent of the Adjudicator or CEDR.
4. The Decision
4.1 The Adjudicator will have 30 working days from the receipt of the parties’ final submissions in which to issue a decision. Any decision will be in writing, dated and signed by the Adjudicator and will contain sufficient reasons to show why the Adjudicator has reached the decisions contained in it.
4.2 In all cases the decision will be binding on the parties. Where the Adjudicator finds that the Board has either acted unfairly and / or has applied the Registration Rules unfairly or incorrectly, then the Board must re-examine its decision in light of the finding.
4.3 The Adjudicators decision will not state whether the applicant should have been disciplined, been granted registration or whether registration should not have been withdrawn
5.1 The costs of the adjudication are:
• Administrator: The Administrators fees and expenses of £400 plus VAT are payable by the Appellant and must be paid with the notice of the appeal. A receipt will be issued.
• Adjudicator: In agreeing to use the appeal’s procedure, the parties will be jointly and severally responsible for the Adjudicator’s fees, which are set at £250 plus VAT (if applicable) per hour, for a maximum of 10 hours. The Adjudicator’s fees will be paid through the Administrator in response to its invoice.
5.2 The general principle is that the losing party will pay the costs of the adjudication, although the Adjudicator has an overriding discretion to decide whether or not to apportion the costs of the adjudication in some other manner. In any exercise of his discretion the Adjudicator will have regard to all the material circumstances and will give his reasons.
5.3 The parties will pay their own costs of preparing their cases. They cannot take any legal action to recover these costs.
6.1 Neither the Administrator not the Adjudicator can enter into any correspondence regarding a decision issued under this Procedure.
7. Contact Addresses
Property Codes Compliance Board
c/o The Old Rectory
The Director of Dispute Resolution Services
Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR)
International Dispute Resolution Centre
70 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1EU