Landlords now legally required to join a redress scheme
The Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has today announced that private landlords will be legally required to become members of a redress scheme – with a fine of up to £5,000 if they fail to do so.
Currently, landlords have no such obligation to register with a complaints system.
The brand new ‘Housing Complaints Resolution Service’ will be developed with a new Redress Reform Working Group made up of representatives from across the sector, working with the industry and consumers to make it easier for people to claim compensation.
Speaking on the new plans, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire today said:
“The proposals I have announced today will help ensure all residents are able to access help when they need it, so disputes can be resolved faster, and people can get compensation where it’s owed.”.
This new measure mirrors changes made to the lettings sector, where from the 1st October 2014, it became a requirement for all letting and managing agents in England to become a member of a redress scheme.
These new measures will form part of the government response to the consultation Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market. The consultation looked at a range of issues including:
- how the current complaints and redress landscape works
- whether streamlining redress in housing could help improve delivery of services
- how the ‘in-house’ complaints process and other practices and processes in redress could be improved
- how any gaps in housing redress could be filled, with a particular focus on purchasers of new build homes and private rented sector tenants
Meera Chindooroy, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the National Landlords Association (NLA), says:
“It comes as no surprise that private landlords will, as letting agents already must, become members of a redress scheme. The fine of up to £5,000 for failing to do so is in line with what letting agents are charged, which, for once, signals consistency in Government policy.
“It will be interesting to see how the Housing Complaints Resolution Service is developed, how they intend to enforce membership, and whether it will increase the costs of running a lettings business.”
No date has been set for the introduction of the new rules. Members will be updated when the implementation date is announced via the e-newsletter. Click here to subscribe.