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