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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Redress revamp: more details to be revealed within weeks

The government says it will be releasing details of its ideas to revamp redress systems concerning agents and new homes “in the New Year.”

A statement issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government over the holiday season said: “The government is continuing to develop its response to the consultation, Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market, with a view to publication in the New Year. The response will provide more detail on the next steps with respect to requiring private landlords to join a redress scheme and how existing redress provision could be streamlined. It will also set out the Government’s plans for a New Homes Ombudsman for all developers of new build homes, which were announced earlier this year.”

Back in February the government caught many in the industry on the hop when it announced the creation of a new single redress system for customers of agents and others in the property industry.

The MHCLG Secretary of State at the time, Sajid Javid, said this would mean a single housing ombudsman to cover the whole of the housing market, with house builders being required to join, and possibly landlords too - as well as all agents currently in the two rival Ombudsman schemes.  

“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” Javid said at the time.

“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.”

More recently - in October, coinciding with a debate at the Conservative party conference - the MHCLG issued a statement saying: “We intend to legislate to require all new developers to belong to a new homes ombudsman. House buyers should be confident that when they purchase a new home, they get the quality of build and finish they expected. We will work with consumers and industry to develop our proposals and publish more details in due course.”

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