Ombudsman plan to stop landlords ignoring repairs

Private landlords may have to sign up to a new ombudsman service and will be ordered to pay tenants compensation for failing to repair their rented homes.

Housing secretary Sajid Javid wants to clean up the private rented sector by forcing bad landlords to take responsibility for the living standards in their properties.

He says tenants should not have to live in homes with broken boilers or cracked walls and that the complaints process is too complicated.

Javid has launched an eight-week consultation – ending on April 16 – asking for the views of private landlords and tenants about a new housing ombudsman service.

He is asking what people think about:

  • introducing a single housing ombudsman to cover the whole property market
  • whether homes builders should be required to join an ombudsman scheme, following on from his commitment to expand redress to tenants of private landlords
  • naming and shaming poor practice to help tackle the worst abuses

“For too long, tenants and homeowners have navigated multiple complaints procedures to resolve disputes about everyday household repairs and maintenance,” said the minister.

“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.”

Javid also argues private landlords currently have no obligation to sign up to a redress scheme, leaving tens of thousands of tenants without any way to complain about repairs and maintenance to their rented homes.

“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.