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.”