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Government to look at single housing ombudsman 07/12/2017 Labelled as Consultation

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced the government's intention to consult in the New Year on bold options to improve consumer redress across the housing sector.


In a speech to the National Housebuilding Council on 29 November the Secretary of State said that potential measures to improve consumer redress across the housing sector when things go wrong could include introducing a single housing ombudsman to help provide more comprehensive redress for home owners, home buyers, tenants and landlords.


Currently, there are 4 government approved providers of redress that cover some aspects of home buying and renting, but not all: the Housing Ombudsman, the Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services: Property, and the Property Redress scheme.


Membership of ombudsman schemes is compulsory for some groups, but not for others. Membership of the Housing Ombudsman scheme is compulsory for all social landlords, but the Secretary of State feels that getting a case considered by the Housing Ombudsman takes too long, and there are all kinds of barriers to doing so.


The Secretary of State said that in the New Year, the government will consult with consumers and the industry, and look at options to explore how the overlap between responsibilities can be improved to help to avoid confusion faced by consumers over where to seek help.


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