Sorting out complaints about housing is just too complicated for most people, according to a new study.
Eight out of 10 people want a single point of complaint and a straightforward process for dealing with their gripes, says Ombudsman Services Property.
The report Building Balance: Restoring power to consumers in the housing sector aims to pinpoint the problems as the current method of dealing with complaints proving to be unfit for purpose, says chief ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith.
The service wills top accepting housing complaints from August as part of a campaign for a single ombudsman.
Currently, consumers have three ombudsman services and other complaint procedures that lead to confusion and complaints failing to be resolved, says Shand Smith.
The report found 69% of consumers find complaining about housing confusing, with 55% not knowing which service to take their complaints to.
New build homes were top of the complaints list (56%), followed by maintenance issues (10%) and moans about letting and estate agents (10%).
From the survey, the ombudsman has recommended the government streamline the housing complaints process by creating a single ombudsman for the sector.
“The current system for redress in housing is ineffective, confusing and complicated, and clearly doesn’t provide the service that consumers need,” said Shand Smith.
“The recommendations put forward in our report are underpinned by real insights, as well as the experience we have gathered during our ten years of helping consumers with complaints in the housing sector. For example, the dialogue showed overwhelming support for the creation of a single ombudsman.
“Now it’s up to the government to take our recommendations forward and put into place a new system; one that is fair, balanced and has the legal powers to put things right.”