James Brokenshire the Communities Secretary has today announced that private landlords will be legally required to become members of a redress scheme. Landlords who are required to register, but fail to do so could face a fine of up to £5,000.
Redress scheme for Landlords
All private landlords in the UK are to be forced to join a redress scheme which was announced today by the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. It is estimated 1.5 million landlords will have to join the redress scheme.
Mr Sajjad Ahmad the CEO of The British Landlords Association said; “this redress scheme in principle without a doubt is good news for landlords and tenants provided it is engineered and streamlined properly. This will ease pressure on our county courts, council officers, burden on the legal aid. Despite the current legislation some rogue landlords still wantonly do not abide by their legal obligations. This redress scheme is a tool that tenants can use, and one hopes it will be an effective way of dealing with tenant complaints.”
This is part of a wide-ranging package of regulatory measures following last year’s consultation on the subject.
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.
The Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said:
Disputes can be resolved faster
“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 legislation is similar 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.
This new announcement by Mr James Brokenshire is part of the government response to the consultation, improving consumer redress in the PRS. The government consultation considered a range of issues which included:
- 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 focus on purchasers of new build homes and private rented sector tenants
Landlord Advice UK
Redress for social housing residents is being considered separately. The response to the social housing green paper and the call for evidence for the review of social housing regulation are due to be published in spring 2019.
Source; The BLA
Author; Tracy Hemming
Date; 24th of January 2018