The PCCB has today welcomed the publication of a revised and strengthened Search Code by the Council of Property Search Organisations (CoPSO).
With the suspension of Home Information Packs (HIPs) in May 2010, and the resultant loss of the legal framework for searches that the HIP Regulations provided, it was vital that the Code was revised to ensure that it remained fit for purpose and continued to deliver the high standards and consumer protection that have become associated with the Search Code logo and Code subscribers.
Commenting on the revised Search Code, PCCB Chairman Richard Footitt said: "We welcome the strengthened Code which will help to maintain consistently high standards among Search Code subscriber firms and robust protection for those that commission searches from them. PCCB believes it is essential that property professionals and home buyers are both able to identify the best quality products in the marketplace and, by actively choosing searches from Code subscribers, thereby help marginalise rogue operators within the industry”.
The PCCB has also released its second annual report today. This provides an overview of the PCCB’s activities from 2009 to date and spans a period of considerable change in the home buying and selling market. Introducing the Report, Richard Footitt said: “The decision to suspend HIPs meant that the Board and search industry had to rethink their role and the future of the Search Code in particular. That process is almost complete. Our compliance activities have resumed, building on our experience of self regulation, supported by proactive compliance, over the last four years or so. This Report chronicles some of that experience, and underlines PCCB’s continued commitment to secure effective compliance in the search industry.”
He continued; “Success will require the co-operation and support of the search industry as a whole, and close working with solicitors and conveyancers, mortgage lenders, and consumer bodies. And it will require a strong relationship with local authorities, which face their own challenges in the years ahead. We share with others a desire to see a healthy housing market, based on sustainable home ownership, and to that end we will work with Code subscribers to provide timely and high-quality information that fully informs the decision to buy or to move home.”
Do conveyancers worry at all about the Search Code? What are your thoughts?