The Government initially consulted on its plans to improve the complaints system in early 2018, with surveying its users and collecting 1,200 responses were collected during the consultation.

The Government pledged to evolve the property sector by introducing and implementing new policies to provide a fair market for all consumers and these latest proposals seem to be going some way to doing just that.

Housing Complaints Resolution Service (HCRS)

James Brokenshire, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, has now revealed plans for a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service (HCRS) for the entire property industry. Mr Brokenshire confirmed he will be bringing forward legislation introducing a new redress scheme which, for the first time ever, will require private landlords to sign up or face fines of up to £5,000. In addition, there will be a New Homes Ombudsman which will require developers of new builds homes to participate.

On these new proposals, the Government added: “Our ambition ultimately is for the new service to cover all housing consumers including tenants and leaseholders of social and private rented housing as well as purchasers of new build homes and users of all residential property agents” … “From broken boilers to cracks in the wall, the new HCRS will potentially help millions by providing a straight-forward way of getting help when faced with unresolved disputes about problems with their home – such as repairs and maintenance.”

Dissatisfied homeowners and tenants will also have ‘simple and quick’ access to help when something goes wrong regarding their property. According to Mr Brokenshire the HCRS will act as a one-stop-shop for anyone dealing with housing complaints whether that be broken boilers or cracks in the wall.

The HCRS is now going to be developed with a new Redress Reform Working Group which is to be made up of representatives from across the sector, working with industry and consumers. The Government states this is part of on-going work to make the property market fairer and more transparent for everyone.

As a property professional, how will you deal with these vast changes?

If you are looking for legal advice or support on any of the issues discussed herein, or indeed any other property related legal issue, please do not hesitate to contact Lloyd Clarke on 01206 239761 for a no-obligation consultation.