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Government announce major shake-up in UK housing market

Whether it’s a broken boiler or plaster falling off the walls, all homeowners and tenants in private, social or leasehold properties will soon have simple access to help when things go wrong.

The government has announced plans to introduce a new housing complaints service that will cover the entire housing market, including millions of private landlords.

Tracie Croft, a lawyer specialising in landlord law, commented: “The housing market has several different complaint bodies. This results in people having to navigate a complex system when they need to complain about unresolved disputes about repairs or maintenance of their home.

By introducing a single point of access for everyone, regardless of tenure, people will be able to get the help they need without having to try and work out where it is that they have to go to register their grievance.”

Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government, RT Hon James Brokenshire MP, said: “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.

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 government estimates that there are between 1.5m and 4m private landlords in the UK. At the moment they are able to voluntarily join The Property Redress Scheme; although only 250 have taken up the offer.

There are currently no timescales for the introduction of the scheme. However, Sean Hooker, head of the Property Redress Scheme, commented: “I look forward to working with the government, the industry and consumer groups to make these plans a reality, level the playing field and further raise standards in the housing sector.”

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