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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

New redress scheme 'must be free for renters' insists consumer group

The government’s new redress system, announced last week and to be implemented later this year, must be free for renters to use according to the consumer charity Citizens Advice.

The charity says it has helped on 14,000 issues about repair and maintenance in the last 12 months - the largest single cause of complaint from private sector tenants coming to the organisation. 

Last week we reported that the government’s wide-ranging changes to redress systems across the housing sector included a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service

This would be a service for complaints of all kinds about housing, for all tenures - landlords, letting agents, tenants, owner occupiers and those operating and living in social housing too. A new Redress Reform Working Group will talk with existing redress services "to develop the proposals outlined ... over the coming months” according to a government statement.

Now Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, says the eventual service must be free for tenants to use. 

“People who rent shabby or unsafe homes face a risky, costly and complicated process when they want to complain” she says.

“This single portal for renters to solve their problems - which landlords must legally join - is great news. However, it’s important the Housing Complaints Resolution Service is free, easy to navigate and protects renters from ‘revenge eviction’ if they complain.

“We look forward to working with the government to make sure this service is fit for purpose and is legislated for as soon as possible.”

  • jeremy clarke

    As long as it's free for all users including agents and landlords too otherwise it will be abused!

  • S l
    • S l
    • 30 January 2019 10:37 AM

    arent citizen advice bureau suppose to be impartial and open to landlord and tenants alike? what happens to the landlords who constantly face rogue tenants who increasingly caused huge costs of damages and rent arrears and the cab does nothing about it? its time these organisation get a grip with reality of life and business. no wonder foreigners from europe loves to come to uk. its freebie for all. take all and give nothing not even pay for services and utilities usage. just move house and rent from another unsuspecting uk landlord and keep claiming benefit and child care. why are we paying our tax for again?

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    We’re paying our taxes (on turnover) to carry such people through life .. sadly as they outnumber landlords 20 to 1 we are of no interests to government in their quest to win generation rent votes and stay in power
    I’ve no doubt this service will not serve landlords it will be there to hammer them anyway possible

     
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    I went to CAB many years ago for help with a criminal tenant. As soon as they heard I was a landlord, they said 'no we don't help landlords,' and that was the end of it They take the money landlords pay in taxes though to provide their services to all tenants, including bad ones. As someone above says, if there is no cost to the tenant then they can pursue all manner of malicious claims against decent landlords, who presumably will have to pay for the privilege. Revenge evictions isn't so much the issue, as revenge complaints - accusing landlords of disrepair when this is often caused by the tenant, even maliciously before a complaint is made. Both CAB and Shelter and increasingly the Tory Government as well as Labour, see everything through a prism of 'tenant good; landlord bad.' It is ideological nonsense, flying the face of clear facts that many tenants are indeed tenants from hell.

     
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    Like Ros, I've had clients (landlords) come to me for assistance...on recommendation by CAB after being turned away as they do not help LLs. It's incredible!

     
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    For purposes of debate, let's just say the majority of LLs were indeed renting unsafe or dodgy houses (to a lesser or greater extent). Let's also say Shelter/CAB/Govt. had a magic button that, once pressed, prevented all of those houses being let out until such time as they were perfect in their eyes. Would they press it? I think they would, believing a perfect-world is the holy grail. But then there'd be virtually no houses available to rent. So they'd switch their whining to something along the lines of, 'Force the works at the expense of the LL and get the property back into use.' Then LLs go bust because their never-ending list of 'perfection' demands is too costly. Sorry news for the LL, but now there's no whipping-boy. Then what? What is it these people ultimately want? Even if we were forced to hand over the deeds of our BTLs to the current tenants, making them owner-occupiers overnight, aside from it not creating any more houses, they'd no longer be entitled to Housing Benefit and, the moment the boiler breaks/tiles blow off the roof, they'd not have the money to fix it. Who are they going to blame when we've taken all of these ideas to the nth-degree? Rolling back a bit to the point we're at now (were LLs own the properties as an investment/business), without profit incentive and ever onerous rules, we'll eventually give up. Then what? You can't suck every last drop of motivation from the industry, but at the same time expect the industry to remain.

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