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LANDLORDS - Redress Scheme 2019

LANDLORDS - Redress Scheme 2019

By law, Property Agents are required to join a government authorised consumer redress scheme. The purpose of this is to give consumers of the Property Agent an escalated complaints procedure if they are not satisfied with how their complaint has been dealt with by the Agent. This law came into effect from October 1st 2014 and since, College and County have been members of the Property Ombudsman.

It is recently come to light this week that now landlords will be legally required to join a landlord redress scheme, or face a £5,000 fine if they fail to do so. 

The new ‘Housing Complaints Resolution Service‘ will be a single housing complaints service for all residents, including renters and homeowners.

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 a Redress Reform Working Group will be established.  

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.