Housing is an issue a number of constituents contact me about, a key area is home repair, whether the landlord or council has offered help when things go wrong.
Dissatisfied homeowners and tenants will soon have a quick and simple way to raise concerns when repair problems arise thanks to new plans announced today by the Communities Secretary. Everything from cracked walls and damp to broken toilets and doors will be able to be put forward to a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service to potentially help millions of people tackle unresolved disputes about home repairs a maintenance.
Many other sectors of life such as financial services, health services and government services the housing market has numerous complaints bodies. This can leave homeowners and tenants confused as to who to contact and how to register a grievance.
By establishing a single housing complaints service for all residents no matter whether they rent or own their home will help make things easier. It will stop the need for people to battle with their landlord or builder to resolve issues and highlight more quickly when services are not meeting quality standard. It will also make it easier to make a claim when compensation is owed.
The Housing Complaints Resolution Service will provide a single point of access to resolve complaints for housing consumers when 'in house' complaints processes have been exhausted.
Once the system is up and running, all private landlords will be legally required to become members of the redress system with a fine of up to £5k if they fail to join. In addition to this a New Homes Ombudsman is being established, this will champion home buyers, protect their interests and hold developers to account on new build properties. Developers will have to belong to the body if they wish to participate in the Government's Help to Buy Schemes.
The legislation will be brought forward at the earliest opportunity to help people have a clearer view on how to resolve housing maintenance problems.