Consultation launched on how to improve housing complaints system

Tenants and homeowners are to be consulted on how to improve the housing complaints system.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid announced that the Government is to consider options to ensure no-one is left battling with their builder or landlord.

The current schemes are said to leave thousands without solutions, requiring some people to navigate through at least four different services in order to find out where to register a complaint.

An eight-week consultation will start on Sunday with the aim of creating a simpler and more effective complaints system, so disputes can be resolved faster and consumers can access compensation where it is owed.

The consultation is open to tenants, landlords, homeowners, and existing ombudsman schemes (Joe Giddens/PA)
The consultation is open to tenants, landlords, homeowners, and existing ombudsman schemes (Joe Giddens/PA)

Some of the options to be considered include introducing a single housing ombudsman to cover the whole of the housing market, and naming and shaming poor practices.

Mr Javid said: "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."

Unlike other areas, such as financial services that have a single and accountable ombudsman, housing has over 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.

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.

The consultation is open to tenants, landlords, homeowners, and existing ombudsman schemes.

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