The government has given the go-ahead to a complaints service for buy to let tenants.
Communities secretary James Brokenshire has confirmed all private landlords in England will have to sign up for the scheme which will allow tenants to claim compensation if landlords have failed to maintain their rented homes.
The aim is to raise buy to let living standards while giving tenants a fast-track to resolving repair and maintenance issues with landlords, like broken boilers and damp.
The Housing Complaints Resolution Service will be compulsory for buy to let landlords, with a £5,000 fine for failing to join the scheme.
Private landlords have no obligation to belong to a complaints body currently.
Brokenshire also wants to overhaul the fragmented number of housing complaints bodies into a more streamlined and less complicated service.
“Creating a housing market that works for everyone isn’t just about building homes – it’s about ensuring people can get the help they need when something goes wrong,” said Brokenshire.
“But all too often the process can be confusing and overly bureaucratic, leaving many homeowners and tenants feeling like there is nowhere to go in the event of problems with their home.
“The proposals I have announced today will help ensure all residents are able to access help when they need it, so disputes can be resolved faster, and people can get compensation where it’s owed.”
Legislation to make the Housing Complaints Resolution Service law will move forward as soon as possible, said Brokenshire, but he has not confirmed any dates.
“I want to give people a clearer and simpler route to redress through a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service,” said Brokenshire. “My aim is for this to become a single one-stop-shop for housing complaints and help prevent anyone with a problem from being turned away.”
Does this apply to Landlords who rent out their properties through a Managing Agent who is already a member of a redress scheme? Do they also have to be members of a scheme as well, or can they rely on the agent’s compliance?
Not sure until legislation is published which is sometime away.