Notary public complaints procedure

1. Definitions

Any fair and reasonable verbal or written expression of dissatisfaction regarding the service provided by the notary, made known by or on behalf of the client.

The client (or their representative) that makes a complaint.

Dutch civil-law notary, assigned notary or junior notary.

Complaints procedure
The procedure that the notary practice follows for the handling of complaints.

Complaints regulations
This document being the written outline of the complaints procedure used by the notary practice.

Complaints officer
The person to whom notary P.B. de Boer has delegated the handling of the complaint.

Complaints registration form
A form used internally to implement the procedure set out in the complaints regulations.

Notarial Disputes Committee (Dutch: Geschillencommissie Notariaat)

This committee was established by the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Boards which covers both Consumer Affairs (Dutch: SGC) and Professions and Businesses (Dutch: SGB). The notary practice can submit disputed and unpaid invoices. Disputes on price and/or quality can also be submitted if the solution offered by the notary practice has not resolved the situation.

Notarial dispute regulations
The procedure that the Notarial Disputes Committee uses to settle disputes between notaries and clients.

Regulations of the Notarial Disputes Committee
The regulations that detail the procedures that are to be followed by the Notarial Disputes Committee.

2. Objectives

The objectives of the complaints regulations are:

  1. to set down a procedure for handling client complaints constructively and within a reasonable amount of time;
  2. to set down a procedure to identify the cause of client complaints;
  3. to maintain and improve existing business relationships by handling complaints appropriately;
  1. to train staff to respond to complaints in a client-oriented manner: Royal Dutch Association of Civil Law Notaries (Dutch: KNB, December 2012); and
  1. to improve the quality of services provided by the appropriate handling of complaints and complaint analysis.

3. Informing the client

The notary:

  1. informs the client that the notary practice has a complaints procedure in place;
  2. informs the client that any complaint should be lodged (preferably in writing) with the notary or with the complaints officer at De Boer Advies & Notariaat;
  3. informs the client that there is the option to submit deadlocked problems to the Notarial Disputes Committee; and
  4. notifies the client that the Regulations of the Notarial Disputes Committee can be requested from the secretary of the committee by writing to P.O. Box 90600, 2509 LP The Hague or by visiting

4. The internal complaints procedure

  1. When a client has made a complaint known to the notary practice, by whichever means, the notary must be informed.
  2. The notary concerned collaborates with the client to try to reach a solution, whether the complaints officer has been consulted or not.
  3. Both the notary concerned and the complaints officer will ensure that the complaint is handled appropriately and in accordance with the current complaints regulations.
  4. Confidentiality must be maintained in all circumstances.
  5. The decision regarding the complaint will be communicated to the client.
  6. If the client is not satisfied with the way in which the complaint has been resolved, the matter will be submitted to the Notarial Disputes Committee.

5. Registration and classification of the complaint

  1. All complaints are registered by using the complaint registration form.
  2. The complaints officer registers and classifies the complaint.
  3. The complaint is classified

– according to the method of submission, as:
A. verbal
B. written
– according to the nature of the complaint, in one of the categories below:
I. complaints about the process/conduct of the notary
II. complaints about the substantive aspects of the service provided
III. complaints about the financial aspects of the service provided
IV. complaints about the practice in general

  1. A complaint can be classified under more than one category.
  2. If and when the complaint is resolved to the satisfaction of the client, both the notary concerned and the complaints officer sign the complaint registration form.

6. Responsibilities

  1. The notary concerned, and after that the complaints officer, are responsible for handling and resolving complaints.
  2. The complaints officer is responsible for completing the complaint registration form in full.
  3. The notary concerned will keep the complaints officer informed as to how the handling of the complaint is proceeding.
  4. The office must settle the complaint in writing within four weeks.
  5. The complaints officer provides a response to the complainant.
  6. The complaints officer maintains the complaint file.

7. Analysis of complaints

  1. Once the complaint has been resolved, the complaints officer will collate the complaint registration forms.
  2. The complaints officer produces periodic reports on the handling of complaints.
  3. The complaints officer processes the data and produces an annual analysis.
  4. The complaints officer also makes recommendations intended to prevent new complaints, as well as to improve the complaints procedures.

8. Internal discussion

  1. Complaint data is discussed during an office meeting annually, based on an analysis of the complaints that have been filed.
  2. Improvement measures are prepared and planned.
  3. The complaints officer is responsible for preparing for this meeting and for performing the analysis.

9. Preventative action

  1. Based on the annual analysis performed by the complaints officer, the practice decides on the preventive measures to be taken in order to improve service quality.
  2. The measures to be taken are presented during the office meeting along with the analysis.


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