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Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market Posted On 02 March 2018

The government is seeking opinions about its official options when it comes to the issue of creating a new redress system

In a statement recently released, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid announced that dissatisfied owners and tenants should have, “a clearer version of redress for their grievances.”

This consultation seeks views on redress for consumers of housing. It covers the following issues:

  • the current complaints and redress landscape, how it is working and if more can be done to improve it
  • what standards and services should be expected of a redress scheme/an ombudsman
  • how to fill the existing gaps between current services
  • whether a single ombudsman service is needed to simplify access to redress across housing, and if so, what form that should take and what its remit should be

The consultation is open to all including tenants, landlords, homeowners, and existing ombudsman schemes, and the government has said that it will also provide more information on future proposals to the housing redress process following the conclusion of this particular consultation.

“Our broken housing market is one of the greatest barriers to progress in Britain today,” says Sajid Javid MP Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. “We have already set out comprehensive plans to build more homes – and have begun to see progress, with the biggest increase in the number of new homes for almost a decade last year.

“But fixing the market is about more than building more homes. 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.

“The current landscape does not support this. There’s not one redress scheme but many and each operate different practices. Even this array of schemes does not entirely cover the issues that consumers might encounter.

“Ultimately, I want to simplify the process so that people have a clearer and simpler route to redress. That’s why I am consulting on options for streamlining redress services, including considering whether the answer might be a single housing ombudsman service: a single, transparent and accountable body with a remit that covers the whole of the housing sector.”

This consultation closes at   11:45pm on 16 April 2018. You can see the full consultation document   here

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