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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Landlords will be forced to register with an ombudsman redress scheme

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, yesterday pledged to offer private sector tenants’ greater rights by making it compulsory for private landlords to sign up to an ombudsman redress scheme - and that there will be a consultation on a new housing court.

Under the initiative announced at the Conservative conference, all landlords will have to become members of an ombudsman redress scheme in a bid to improve the dispute resolution system for renters.

New incentives will be unveiled in the November Budget to ensure landlords offer tenancies of at least 12 months, said Javid.

The government will also legislate to ensure all letting agents are registered, which would mean that agents would not be able to operate in the role without qualifications or professional oversight.

The Communities Secretary said: “For too long, tenants have felt unable to resolve the issues they’ve faced, be it insecure tenure, unfair letting agents’ fees or poor treatment by their landlord with little to no means of redress. We’re going to change that.

“We will insist that all landlords are part of a redress scheme and we will regulate letting agents who want to operate.

 “Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own homes and we will make sure they do.”

Earlier this year Citizens Advice called for the introduction of a free, mandatory and independent way for tenants to make complaints, in the form of an alternative dispute resolution system, across the private rented sector.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, which is also calling for it to be a requirement that properties meet a national minimum health and safety standard before a landlord can let it out, said: “Renters living in squalid or unsafe homes have limited options when landlords let them down.

“Tenants whose landlords dispute the need for essential repairs or improvements often end up having to pay out of their own pocket - and some fear being evicted in retaliation. Currently the time, complexity and cost of taking a rogue landlord to court means that this is a route taken by just one in 100 private tenants.

“For people paying high rents for homes in a poor condition there needs to be an easier and cheaper option to be heard - which is why it’s welcome that the government has recognised the need for renters to have access to a redress scheme, bringing it into line with other consumer markets. It's important that the scheme is free to access and available for any type of dispute.”

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    another pretend-tory

    12 months and no access to courts to evict for non-payments--can take months to access court, then more delay to get bailiffs

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    stop funding cab--it is a leech

  • Don Holmes

    In the first place, I accept that the Government are pandering somewhat to the tenant vote, with some of these suggested policy proposals, but lets look at the alternative. JC taking us back to the dark ages of rent controls, then we would have an issue.
    The introduction of longer term tenancies has been around for ages and as the national average occupancy is in excess of 18 months for 3 bed house, why would we be concerned with this issue, so long as the possession procedure remains the same as is proposed.
    On the second issue of Licencing, as an agent this is long over due and welcome and if Landlords don't wish to register with a redress scheme, then at least the local agents will be licenced and have to run a secure client account offering better protection to the landlord client.

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    And what redress do landlords have for bad tenants other than lengthy court proceedings and evictions?

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    There is already a Property redress scheme which good landlords belong to, the rogues will never bother to comply.

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    If this is meant to encourage people to let then I wouldn't hold my breath. More regulation, more admin and more political meddling is not what the sector needs.

    Let's see how many tenants vote for Sajid when they can't find a rental property for love nor money because PRS landlords are exiting the market in droves.

    If that's be best the government has to offer then God help them all.

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    What about tenants who don't want to stay for twelve months? There is already a problem with this where a worker in an area for a short time can only do short stay lets up to 90 days and after that it is a 6 month AST. Suppose someone has a four month contract to work in an area, that is already tough. Now there are quite a few who have between 7 and 11 month contracts who we cannot legally produce the correct paperwork for.

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    • 30 October 2017 08:59 AM

    Oh dear we will have ratchet up the rents again on our portfolio. This along with section 24, I often wonder what it is that this government actually has against tenants, they (tenants rent payments) are in for such a battering. Due to the constant interference by government we have regularly increased rents across our portfolio merely to absorb cost and this is just going to go on and on and on. Most of our tenants will never be able to nor wish to purchase their own home - either too old or not in a position to purchase, which is why they are tenants in the first place. In our case they are very important and we look after them extremely well. The Governments general attitude seems to be sadly missplaced in its treatment of both tenants and landlords. Both are slowly being crushed.

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