Government to improve dissatisfaction with landlords and builders across housing sector
Dissatisfied tenants and owners across the country may be offered a lifeline as the British Government considers options to ensure that no one is left battling with their landlord or builder to resolve issues with their home.
Housing Secretary Sajid Javid has announced an eight week consultation to consider introducing a single housing ombudsman to cover the whole of the housing market.
He wants to use people’s real experiences to shape a simpler and better complaints system, so future disputes can be resolved faster and consumers can access compensation where it is owed. The consultation will also look at whether builders should be required to join an ombudsman scheme.
‘For too long, tenants and home owners have navigated multiple complaints procedures to resolve disputes about everyday household repairs and maintenance. Fixing this housing crisis is about more than just building homes, it’s ensuring people have the answers available when something goes wrong,’ said Javid.
Unlike other areas, such as financial services that have a single and accountable ombudsman, housing has over four different complaints bodies. In the private rented sector, there is currently no obligation for landlords to register with a complaints system and this can often leave thousands who do not use a property agent without any option for redress.
House builders are responsible for fixing incomplete work in new build homes but when this does not happen many consumers with snagging issues can find that they have nowhere left to turn.
There are already a number solutions being introduced. From April the Government is introducing new measures to crack down on rogue landlords to ensure tenants are not being exploited by unscrupulous landlords who profit from providing overcrowded, squalid and sometimes dangerous homes.
The consultation aims to address several key areas, including the effectiveness of the current complaint process, or if more can be done to improve the experience, what standard of service should be expected, if a single housing ombudsman is needed and how to fill the existing gaps in the current system, such as private landlords not having to register with a redress scheme.
The consultation will end on 16 April 2018 and is open to all including tenants, landlords, home owners, and existing ombudsman schemes.
The Housing Ministry will provide more information on future proposals to the housing redress process following the conclusion of the consultation.