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Government launch consultation on improving housing complaints systems and consumer redress 01/03/2018 Labelled as Consultation

The government have launched a consultation paper "Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market" setting out options and seeking ideas for a simpler and better system for dealing with housing complaints so future disputes can be resolved faster and consumers can access swift redress and compensation where it is owed.


Options considered in the consultation paper include:


  • introducing a single housing ombudsman to cover the whole of the housing market both public and private, owner-occupied and rented sectors


  • whether home builders should be required to join an ombudsman scheme, following on the government's commitment to expand redress to tenants of private landlord


  • the naming and shaming poor practice to help tackle the worst abuses


  • sanctions and financial awards of up to £25,000 and more.


Currently, there are multiple providers of redress that cover some aspects of home buying and renting, but not all and membership of ombudsman schemes is compulsory for some groups, but not for others.


The consultation paper seeks responses from tenants, leaseholders, landlords, homeowners, and existing ombudsman schemes across 3 key areas:


  • the effectiveness of the current complaint process, or if more can be done to improve the experience


  • what standard of service should be expected and if a single housing ombudsman is needed


  • how to fill the existing gaps in the current system, such as private landlords not having to register with a redress scheme


The consultation began on 18 February and will close on 16 April 2018.


Tenant representatives on the ARCH Tenant Group will consider the consultation paper at their next meeting on 26 March 2018 and the Group will feed its views to the ARCH Executive Board at its meeting on 9 April 2018 to help inform an ARCH response.


There is an online form available to housing consumers (public and private tenants and home-owners) until the 16 April 2018.


If your council is considering a response to the consultation paper please copy your response to ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby to help inform the ARCH response on behalf of local authority landlords and the stock-retained sector.

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