The RSA represent surveyors that specialise in the field of business rates. Its members must demonstrate that they comply with the highest professional standards and membership is only available to those who are proposed and seconded by other members.
New Marketing Code of Conduct
As of August 1, its members must adhere to a new Marketing Code of Conduct. It has been launched as a response to what the body describes as the unscrupulous practices of ‘Rating Experts’ who make misleading claims in their ability to save clients money.
Robert Harlow, LSH Head of Rating Division in Wales, said: "This new code of conduct has been drawn up by the RSA to set its members apart from rating advisers that make unrealistic and misleading claims about the success they can achieve.
"Some firms advising ratepayers are making promises of huge reductions in rateable value without having seen the property concerned. A convincing sales patter with the promise of money saved is highly attractive. However, if the promised savings sound too good to be true, then they may well be just that.
Official set of guidelines
"The creation of an official set of guidelines covering marketing will hopefully encourage customers to seek out a trusted rating surveyor and steer clear of more dubious options."
As part of the RSA’s new code of conduct, all rating surveyors will be required to be legal, honest, truthful and not criticise the work of other professional rating advisers. They must also be clear in all communications and not make claims in marketing materials that are not genuine, accurate and able to be authenticated.