This situation is changing though, and many industry observers have welcomed the introduction of a single complaints service for homeowners and tenants.
The new scheme, a housing complaints resolution service for tenants and homeowners, will ensure that complaints reach the right organisation. This step will hopefully make it easier for people to raise problems with builders and landlords. Also, if there is a need to claim compensation, this process will simplify the work.
The scheme will initially be rolled out in England
The new plan requires private landlords to register for a complaints system legally. This is an outcome that many people, in a campaign championed by MoneySavingExpert, have requested. The changes will be initially applied to England although Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland could see the changes introduced at a later date.
Kirsty Good is the head of campaigns at MoneySavingExpert, and she released a statement, saying; “Today's announcement is a real step forward for private tenants and leaseholders, who will finally have somewhere to turn when they can't resolve a problem directly with their landlord or freeholder. But while the portal system should make the process of complaining easier for the consumer, the question remains of how toothless the dispute resolution schemes are that it will filter complaints to.”
Is enough being done?
When changes like this come about, there will always be complaints as to whether this is enough. However, these changes indicate that this is an issue that the Government is aware of, and looking to impact. Landlords face a lot of challenges in their line of work, but there is no denying that most landlords are keen to improve and provide an improved service.
The Government have also spoken out about the changes, with Communities Secretary James Brokenshire saying; “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.”
With the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act now in effect, there is a lot more support for tenants, but it is vital that landlords don’t feel as though these measures are targeting them.
While many landlords welcome these changes, it may initially lead to disruption and further work. If you are a landlord looking for guidance on how to care for your tenants or provide the best standard of service, please get in touch. At Holmes Estate Agents, we aim to provide you with the best measure of service at all times.