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Landlords to be legally required to join a redress scheme

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

The Secretary of State for Housing James Brokenshire has announced that landlords will be legally required to join a landlord redress scheme, or face a £5,000 fine.

A date for this is still to be announced, and the measure forms part of the government response to the consultation ‘Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market’, which ran from February.

A new ‘Housing Complaints Resolution Service‘ will be set up, designed to be a single housing complaints service for all residents, including renters and homeowners.

To protect the interests of home-owners who buy new build homes, government has also reiterated its commitment to establishing a New Homes Ombudsman which will champion home buyers, protect their interests and hold developers to account.

Legislation will be brought forward at the earliest possible opportunity to require all new developers to belong to the Ombudsman.

Developers will also have to belong to the new body by 2021 if they wish to participate in the government’s landmark Help to Buy scheme.

The government say it will make it easier for people to claim compensation when it is owed. It intends to work with key stakeholders to establish this, and it will be launching a consultation on the plans, with a Redress Reform Working Group also to be established.

Currently landlords in the private rented sector do not have to register with a complaints system.  

However under the plans announced this week, it will become a legal requirement for landlords in the private rented sector to join a redress scheme, or they could face a fine of up to £5,000 for failing to do so.

The RLA has a number of concerns about the plans.

Policy director David Smith said that the evidence the government has doesn’t support the need for he changes and it seems little thought has been given about how all the new legislation will fit together and how it will be enforced.

The association is also concerned about the cost element.

Dr Smith said: “It will be yet another cost and yet another layer of complexity, possibly with relatively little end product.

“We also need clarification on what the situation will be for landlords who use letting agents. Agents already have to be a member of a redress scheme – so landlords using them would be paying twice.”

No firm date has been set for the introduction of the new rules, and the RLA will update members when it knows more.

Announcing the plans, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire today said: “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”.

The new measures form part of the government response to the consultation Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market,

In this, the government has outlined that in the long term it has the “ambition” that there should be a single Code of Practice on complaint handling across all of housing.

Since 1st October 2014, it has been a requirement for all letting and managing agents in England to become a member of a redress scheme.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

19 Comments

  • It’s al very well for The govenment to set up a landlords redress scheme but what about setting up a redress scheme and list that all dishonest and troublesome tenants should be placed on so that landlords can see the back history of any tenants and previous problems associated with them

  • Well well well, I bet there will be a Registration Fee to join this compulsory scheme. It never ends. I’m sure someone is sitting in Whitehall dreaming up these income raising ideas. Landlords … £££££££’s … that’s how the Government spell the word !

    • Hi, this hasn’t become law yet no, however the Government have said that ‘legislation will be brought forward at the earliest possible opportunity’. As soon as we know more details with regards to an implementation date, we will be informing members. Thanks

  • Whitehall’s objective is quite clear: abolish the PRS by a thousand cuts. They want large-scale build-to-rent operators to replace the PRS, such as Legal and General, hence the stamp duty holiday for multiple purchases. After 21 years, I’m selling up, down from 8 to 3 now, 1 sold a year. A shame, I’ve had to give perfectly good tenants notice.

  • His isn’t a bad idea as long as it works both ways. It would be good to have a redress authority that can quickly enforce landlord rights without having to go court. Such as demand overdue rents , fees for arrears letters, or evict tenants etc

  • Just by looking at their financial record I can tell which tenants are going to complain about their living conditions.

  • Can you please confirm if you will still need to register as a landlord evening if you portfolio is managed by an agent whom is obviously already a member of the PRS?

    • Hi, we are still waiting for clarification from the Government in relation to this, but once we know we will be informing members.

  • I echo John Price’s comments above, yet another avenue to squeeze even more cash out of landlords, with the penalty of a £5000 fine being used as the blunt instrument to batter landlords into submission!

  • How about the Government come up with some way to help Landlords with rogue tenants – this all seems one sided to me.

    1. Benefit tenants who wreck houses but do not have any means for covering the cost of repair
    2. Tenants who do not respond to benefits letters therefore fall into rent arrears
    3. Benefit tenants who sublet without permission

    Where is our help in the redress scheme when there is no consequence to tenants actions?

  • Agree with Orls above that this should be a two-way street.

    Which redress scheme would this be or is this going to another new organisation that needs to be created? Is it something the RLA could run?

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