Housing disputes are surprisingly common with conflict arising between landlords and tenants and homeowners and developers for any number of reasons.
Knowing who can help and advise you when a dispute does occur can be less than clear, however, with several different complaint bodies in existence and, in some cases, no redress mechanism at all.
Thankfully the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) overhauled the complaints system for both the private rented sector and homeowners who buy new build homes.
The result was:
- The introduction of a new housing complaints resolution service, providing a streamlined redress system for the entire housing market.
The service provides a way to resolve complaints for housing consumers, when ‘in-house’ redress processes have been exhausted.
- Private landlords are required to become members of a redress scheme with fines of up to £5,000 if they do not comply.
- All new developers are required to belong to the New Homes Ombudsman, and the government’s Help to Buy Scheme is only available to developers who have joined the ombudsman.
Whether disagreements crop up in relation to repairs, maintenance, rent or deposits, the housing complaints resolution service should ensure that homeowners, tenants and landlords know where to go to access help, creating clarity and removing bureaucracy.
Of course, if property disputes escalate or cannot be resolved through a complaints service, an expert solicitor can provide valuable assistance, but it is helpful that initially landlords, tenants and homeowners should have access to single, accessible resolution service.