The government has launched a surprise consultation on the creation of a new redress system for customers of agents and others in the property industry.
In a statement released this morning, Sunday, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that dissatisfied owners and tenants should have a clearer version of redress for their grievances.
The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government says it is seeking opinions over the next eight weeks about its official options including:
- introducing a single housing ombudsman to cover the whole of the housing market
- builders being required to join an ombudsman scheme, following on our commitment to expand redress to tenants of private landlords
- naming and shaming poor practice to help tackle the worst abuses
Housing Secretary Sajid Javid says: “For too long, tenants and homeowners 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.
“Today’s top-to- bottom review shows government is working hard to deliver a better and simpler system.
Javid says that unlike other areas, such as financial services that have a single and accountable ombudsman, housing has at least 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” he says.
“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.
“This is just one of the steps the government is taking to solve the country’s housing crisis and improve the rental sector which 8.6 million households are part of” Javid concludes.
The eight week consultation begins today with an online form being available to agents, property professionals and housing consumers until April 16.
This consultation is open to all including: tenants, landlords, homeowners, and existing ombudsman schemes.
The Ministry will provide more information on future proposals to the housing redress process following the conclusion of this consultation.
You can see the full consultation document here.