486. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Justice the procedures in place in relation to the Property Services Regulatory Authority in dealing with official complaints that are lodged with the authority; the number of complaints received by the authority in each of the years 2015 to 2020, in tabular form; the number of those complaints that are still live; the number now fully closed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27593/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) is a statutory body established to regulate property services providers. As part of its independent statutory remit, it has powers to investigate complaints of improper conduct made against licensed property services providers, and to commence as part of its own volition an investigation into alleged improper conduct. While, as Minister, I have no role in the independent adjudication of these matters by the Authority I am happy to set out the following information which it has provided in relation to this matter.
Under Section 63 of the Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011, any person may make a complaint to the Authority alleging improper conduct by a Property Services Provider. Where the Authority receives such a complaint it must carry out an investigation unless it is satisfied that the complaint:
(a) is not made in good faith, or
(b) is frivolous or vexatious or without substance or foundation, or
(c) is likely to be resolved by mediation or other informal means between the parties concerned.
Once a complaint is received, an inspector will determine whether or not it falls within the definition of improper conduct as provided for in the Act and decide if a formal investigation is required to be carried out. The Property Services Regulation Act 2011 (Minimum Standards) Regulations 2020, which came into force on 30 November 2020, provides for additional standards to be observed in the provision of property services by property services providers. These standards reflect the high standards expected of licensees in the provision of property services to their clients and the public.
The following table sets out the statistical information requested by the Deputy, as of 19 May 2021.
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