Government consults on new single housing ombudsman

19 February 2018
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The government is asking for people’s opinions on improving how consumer complaints in the housing sector are handled and whether a new single housing ombudsman would make it easier for the public to seek compensation when things go wrong.

Secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid says: “We know that for many households – whether tenants or owners – their home can be a source of stress. Repairs that never get sorted; neglected communal spaces; the frustration and hassle of slow and costly sales processes.

“Having a roof over your head is not a luxury, and moving home is not always an easy option when problems occur. That’s why it’s so important that consumers have swift, effective routes to complain when things go wrong; that they know where to go and are clear about what they can expect.”

Mr Javid adds that there are currently many redress schemes, which have different ways of working, and that “too many people have no option but to take a grievance through the courts”.

Earlier this month, Ombudsman Services announced that it will no longer handle complaints in the property sector because it believes the current system is “broken’.

The government’s consultation, which will last for eight weeks until 16 April 2018, primarily relates to redress schemes in England, though it will discuss the issues with the rest of the UK where current legislation affects other regions.

To take part in the survey, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Housingredress

In related news, the government has also launched a consultation on introducing new safety measures to reduce the risk of electric shocks or fires caused by electrical faults in the private rented sector.

It is recommending five yearly mandatory electrical installation safety checks for all private rented properties and safety certificates for tenants to prove checks and repair work have been completed.

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