William Eichler 24 January 2019

Brokenshire announces ‘overhaul’ of housing complaints system

Brokenshire announces ‘overhaul’ of housing complaints system  image

Communities secretary James Brokenshire today announced an overhaul of what he describes as a ‘broken’ housing complaints system.

Currently, there are multiple complaint bodies covering the housing market, and membership of redress schemes is compulsory for some tenures but not others.

Mr Brokenshire said there will be a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service which will provide a simple way for home owners and tenants to get help when faced with housing disputes.

It will be developed with a new Redress Reform Working Group made up of representatives from across the sector.

The communities secretary also said 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.

The Government also reiterated its commitment to establishing a New Homes Ombudsman, which will protect the interests of home buyers and hold developers to account.

‘Creating a housing market that works for everyone isn’t just about building homes – it’s about ensuring people can get the help they need when something goes wrong,’ said Mr Brokenshire.

‘But all too often the process can be confusing and overly bureaucratic, leaving many homeowners and tenants feeling like there is nowhere to go in the event of problems with their home.

‘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.’

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A commitment to civil debate

Cllr Arooj Shah has been the target of recent threats and harassment. Leaders from all parties in Oldham have now come together to add their signature to a ‘politics, not personalities’ pledge, she explains.
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