Housing Secretary Sajid Javid may make private landlords sign up to a Housing Ombudsman service that will deal with complaints from tenants.
Javid says disgruntled tenants should have an easier way to resolve issues over damp and repairs to their homes.
An eight-week consultation is calling for tenants and homeowners to shape a simpler complaints process, so disputes are resolved quicker – and if landlords and house builders ignore repairs, they will have to pay compensation.
Options put forward in the consultation include:
- introducing a single housing ombudsman to cover the whole property market
- if homes builders should be required to join an ombudsman scheme, following on to a government commitment to expand redress to tenants of private landlord
- naming and shaming poor practice to help tackle the worst abuses
Javid said: “For too long, tenants and homeowners have navigated multiple complaints procedures to resolve disputes about everyday household repairs and maintenance.
“Fixing this housing crisis is about more than just building homes, it’s ensuring people have the answers available when something goes wrong.
“Today’s top-to- bottom review shows government is working hard to deliver a better and simpler system.”
He explained that private landlords have no obligation to sign up to a redress scheme, which leaves hundreds of thousands of tenants who do not rent through an agent without any way to complain about their living standards.
“Having a roof over your head is not a luxury, and moving home is not always an easy option when problems occur. That’s why it’s so important that consumers have swift, effective routes to complain when things go wrong; that they know where to go, and are clear about what they can expect,” said Javid.
The consultation ends on April 16.