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Mandatory Ombudsman for Landlords - government takes first step

The government has taken the first step to introducing a mandatory ombudsman scheme which private landlord must join.

It’s published what is called a Pre-Tender Market Engagement request seeking information in preparation for finding a supplier who would manage the scheme.

The government description of the scheme - formally called ‘the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Landlord Ombudsman scheme’ - outlines its proposal.


It says: “The Ombudsman scheme will be mandatory for all private landlords in England. 

“It will provide redress and dispute resolution to all private rented sector tenants by an independent person, in accordance with the terms of the arrangements with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (herein referred to as "the Authority").”

It says the Pre-Tender Market Engagement is to gather information to:

“- help define the service specification for the Ombudsman;

“- help provide a better understanding of the feasibility of the requirement;

“- understand the best approach to introduce and implement the Ombudsman;

“- understand the capacity of the market to deliver and possible risks involved;

“- inform value for money considerations undertaken by the Authority;

“- provide the market with an opportunity to ask questions, raise queries and any issues to be addressed at an early stage;

“- inform potential delivery timescales of the Ombudsman;

“- inform our decision on the route to market.”

This process is merely to ‘scope’ the possible shape and powers of an ombudsman and the government insists it is “separate to any later procurement exercise.”

The ombudsman is one of the many pledges made by the current government to reform what it sees as problems in the private rental sector.

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    Excellent. Can't wait for the mandatory tenants scheme that'll be used to track and resolve tenancy breaches such as non payment and destroying someone else's property.


    Agree, there is no project reality in such legislation, only Politicians playing to: myths, falsehoods and populist politics


    As far as I can read between the lines and what LL have gone through in increase of expenses for EPC, electricity certificate, gas certificate, removal of furniture relief, licensing, deposit registration, no tenants fees, removal of tax relief on interest on loans, now the joining an ombudsman scheme where landlord will be forced to do so with a premium charges. This will have guidelines for ombudsman to favour the tenants. Tenants who do not pay or damage the property will often be overlooked, as I found as an outcome of accepting a 3rd party company bond from the tenants instead of a deposit.

  • Ferey Lavassani

    And who is going to pay for setting up this so called "ombudsmen"? Of course, the private landlord, and they wonder why the rents keep going up.


    And, in turn, why inflation is also high…

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    The problem with all this is enforcement. I reported a local landlord for no EPC and I suspect no how to rent guide but although the Council know there is no EPC they cannot enforce when notified by a third party. So nothing changes. The professional LLs do what they must, the accidental LLs dont do the required and still get away with it!


    That sounds more like an excuse for them not to bother...


    We only need an EPC when reletting, I have 1 property where the EPC expired yrs ago, it was valid when the tenants moved in, they are still there, and I very much doubt they will be moving out anytime soon, so I've not bothered to renew it

    Kathryn Everson

    Sandra, I totally disagree with you. I would be classed as an accidental landlord, but have been letting property for over 23 years. I handled every single aspect of my rentals, having read up on what was required, for many years now I have worked with an agent to handle the tenant find part and have continued to manage it myself. I have constantly updated and complied with latest legislation and even confronted a very large national Estate agent, when they insisted they were correct about a 'Deposit situation', they were wrong and apologised. I have been complimented on my own AST agreement, by both solicitors and agents, along with my detailed inventories I have always produced. There are good and bad in all professions, but please do not insult 'accidental landlords' with comments like they 'don't do the required and still get away with it'


    "Accidental" does NOT mean unprofessional!!!
    I really resent such allegations.
    But perhaps you want to play into the hands of anti-landlord groups; when enough of them are getting things factually wrong (including Crisis who I may take to the Charity Commission).
    I became a landlord 'accidentally', but became more professional, and proved to be more correct on various aspects of law and practice on a number of occasions than a couple of letting agents; who got things wrong and I had to correct them.
    And I always meet my obligations: so don't "get away with it".
    There are sometimes obvious good reasons for authorities not being able to act on reports from third parties not directly affected.
    And well done Kathryn.

    • B L
    • 26 March 2023 14:19 PM

    Had tenants owed 9 months rent; also had tenants stole valuable carpet; tenants subletting without permission; ...etc., they got away with it, all of them, even some were in the court. Those tenants broke the law in many ways. If you are not in the situation, you have no place to judge and report. You need evidence to suspect and to report. It will be kinder to talk to the person to solve the issue rather than reporting. Even EPC is not accurate, it should be taken as a guideline, not a force majeure.

    FedUp Landlordy

    I simply have to reject your slightly aimed at so called accident landlords, grr grr grr!

    Like others have already stated; accidental certainly does not mean unprofessional, far from it 🤪

    I/we would have been classed as accidental at the very start, although, we immediately updated ourselves with all that was needed and have been ahead of the curve ever since, and many tenants have chased for our properties and for our service - for the top and exceptional stand out that they constantly receive.

    We even joined an accreditation at 1 point, passed with flying colours, left within weeks - money grabbers!

    Now with decades of experience, laughably, in your eyes, we and others; not deemed professional enough, huh, this, even though I/we are in daily jobs (ACCA/RCN)!

    Funny that!

    So, stick your outlandish critique where the sun don't shine, the sector certainty doesn't need further critisms!

    Coupled with how I'd far rather be an unprofessional then a d@mn GRASSssssss...

    Well I never, one also can be childish ><

  • icon

    Totally unnecessary and certainly not something that should take priority over other issues such as ensuring that Landlords know where they stand in relation to the Governments other anti- Private Landlord Schemes that they have started and left us in abeyance on…. EPC ratings, scraping of Section 21 etc…..

  • icon

    More Bureaucracy, more Administration, more Costs,
    more Unfairness, another Nail in the Coffin. another Savage attack on Private landlords to finish us off as if they hadn’t done enough already and gather more information about us there is no more, licensing Schemes done that already and a multitude of on going other sources they know the last time we sneezed. There is no one to Redress us more discrimination to stick us to the wall Mandatory.

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    Do they sit around a table every morning trying to brainstorm the next project they can hit landlords with. It will be compulsory and will involve a fee payable by the landlord to fund it as usual!


    No doubt there will be a fee, and I'm sure it will be a large fee, which of course will be passed onto the tenants at the next rent review, governments are not the tenants friends


    Yes, thats their reason for being. Jobs for the boys & girls.


    Totally agree Andrew. Don’t need it - and funded by L Lords. All for the tenants get away with everything. Stuff us PLL. Even deposits when one has a concrete case the monies go bck to the tenant.

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    I have had some weird and arbitrary decisions, when a tenant has left, from the Ombudsman not based on facts or photographs or receipts BUT just based on which way the 'wind blew that day' or their political view of the PRS !

    It is almost a 'given' that a tenant will go to the Ombudsman , to see what they can get, if there is a deduction claimed on the deposit

    This legislation will only achieve what we now know, will increase bureaucracy, delay repairs waiting a decision and increased rents to cover the potential losses

    How the Government thinks it is going to manage every rent turnover going to a compulsory Ombudsman, given that 98% of the PRS market is single property landlords, is beyond realistic

  • icon

    How much will it cost? A lot
    How much good will it do? Nothing
    Will the government sort out its own properties first? No

  • icon

    It won't get through this Parliament & then a Labour Govt will have its own view.


    Which will be worse.

  • icon

    Pre-tender Market Engagement- What a joke.
    This will be a group of people whom will self appoint themselves to a new industry of sorting out the so called rental crisis. Of course the joke being that a lot of these issues have been created by this Government and previous Governments for not investing in social housing.
    The title is correct when read properly 'pretender' to do something! It will just be another sound bite for a Politician to claim that they are resolving the housing issue and are setting up this vital ombudsman scheme, funded no doubt by us!

  • icon

    It says its for English landlords but I'm sure Scotland will follow suit with something else just as stupid. We've already got the first tier tribunal lot here in Scotland who are BLATANTLY on the side of the tenant.. I know from personal experience. They will reject your application (after a 3 month or so period) to evict if you forget to cross a t or dot an i. Their standard response if you phone them and ask a question is " you'll have to seek legal advice" or "we're not allowed to advise". You get no help in finding which forms you need to fill in, timescales between sending off forms etc..... It feels like it's designed to catch landlords out on technicalities. I lost over £6k in rent due to their slow, bumbling, biased methods. No wonder I'm selling my portfolio... I've had enough of all the BS. I fee sorry l for my tenants having to find another home but I'm happy to add to the housing problems created by the government... Let them sort it out... Or not... It's not my problem. I'll be screwed over with capital gains but it's better to exit now with something in your pocket than later with nothing. Compulsory purchases will be next... (just my personal opinion)


    It sounds a sensible decision given the total mess that is the PRS in Scotland, all the best.

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    This is the sop to removing S21. There has been trial scheme somewhere and the conclusion was it was invoked too late and too few people used it. So why bother? There is already the deposit scheme mediation service - so watch them jump in to the opportunity. Good landlords don’t need it. And bad ones won’t care.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    NothIng like a bit of MORE regulation, .... to drive up rents even further ;-)
    especially at a time when 83% of tenants are satisfied.
    What was ole saying I recall, something about .... if it ain't broke, .....


    I believe part of the guidelines for the ombudsman will be to keep the rent low, especially for people who bought properties over 20 years ago and can take a lower rent. If they are kept high they may decide that tenants do not have to pay all, as they cannot afford it. If the tenants loose jobs then landlord will have to reduce the rent.
    The Government cannot provide housing as Maggie Thatcher's government sold off the stock cheaply. Now they wish to control the PRS market and give grief to LL, who have started to sell off.


    No Vibha What I paid for my properties has nothing to do with the rent I charge, new tenants pay the full market rent who ever they are, I do keep rent increases to a minimum for good existing tenants, If a tenant loses their job they don't get a discount, if they cannot afford the rent they leave, I'm no charity

  • icon

    Wake up and smell the coffee. This is a quote from Gove's Brown Paper released in June last year:

    "The new Ombudsman will allow tenants to seek redress FOR FREE [SO ALL TENANTS WILL ALL BE GOING THERE], where they have a complaint about their tenancy. This could include complaints about the behaviour of the landlord [ENTER VEXAXIOUS CLAIMS FROM TENANTS JUST TO BE DIFFICULT ESPECIALLY AFTER SECTION 21 HAS GONE], the standards of the property [SOME WILL COMPLAIN ABOUT EVERYTHING] or where repairs have not been completed within a reasonable timeframe[NOT WITHIN 24 HOURS IS NOT ENOUGH FOR SOME PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY ONCE S21 HAS GONE]. We will make membership of the Ombudsman mandatory and local councils will be
    able to take enforcement action against landlords that fail to join the Ombudsman.
    The Ombudsman will have powers to put things right for tenants, including compelling
    COMPENSATION of up to £25,000 [WTF! AGAIN ALL ONE SIDED]. As part of providing compensation, we also intend for the Ombudsman to be able to require landlords to reimburse rent to tenants where the service or standard of property they provide falls short of the mark. In keeping with standard practice, the Ombudsman’s decision will be binding on landlords, should the complainant accept the final determination. Failure to comply with a decision may result in repeat or serious offenders being liable for a Banning Order [BANNING ORDER: THIS SEEMS LIKE THE ONE BIT OF GOOD NEWS FOR LANDLORDS. THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING BANNED IS MUCH MORE PREFERABLE THAN BEING A LANDLORD] The government will also retain discretionary powers to
    enable the Ombudsman’s decisions to be enforced through the Courts if levels of compliance
    become a concern."

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    • B L
    • 24 March 2023 11:32 AM

    "Cannot provide a quick solution to complex problems. Complainant has no control over the investigation i.e. the Ombudsman does not act for the complainant specifically and they can refuse to deal with a specific matter." -------Source Google: disadvantages of an Ombudsman.
    Obviously, Another Useless Idea. The government always fuelling a fight and conflict between landlords and tenants. We believe this issue is for social housing and not for the PRS. The government should be
    very cautious not to turn the country into anarchy by having too much control. This lip service goes nowhere but to divide the tenants and landlords.

  • George Dawes

    You vill rent ze house for ze peanuts and you vill eat ze bugs


    I assume this is the landlords' future you are referring to. Meanwhile the boat people and our own home grown benefits people will lead a life of comparative luxury.

  • Matthew Payne

    This is only about more tax, the one thing HMRC doesnt have enough of is landlord data.

    • B L
    • 24 March 2023 13:11 PM

    This is only about one more leech, stick and suck the blood out of the landlords' but has
    no functions.

  • icon
    • 24 March 2023 15:43 PM

    The civil service and councils have resorted to confirmed common law ‘woke’ ideology in what is a 6-year cover-up with God’s top-down plan fused loop (statute +common law) pitted against the ‘status quos’ upside down unlawful common law ‘woke’ ideology breach of good faith agreements. Did the civil service know their job measured against comparable fair contracts fused loop?
    This is system’s failure and unfair trading FRAUD cover-up: The customers are not giving up their GOD’s focus top-down plan in a 2-way stalemate when FUSION did not exist when about 50% of power group (Letting agents, Property Mark, Landlord Law, SAL, NRLA, solicitors, media groups (Mashroom/ NRLA/Landlord Law), course providers) ‘U’-turns have turned to unlawful practices, wiping out good faith agreements – when implied statute customer protection has not been supplied UK wide. Show customers Implied statute for customer care?
    Google Common law vs Implied statute (Uk) and Richard Heaton’s talk at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on common law and statute law, the ‘verbal and written’ diarrhoea common law groups (Letting agents, Property Mark, Landlord Law, SAL, NRLA, solicitors, media groups (Mashroom/ NRLA/Landlord Law), course providers) ‘U’-turns have turned to unlawful common law practices, breach of good faith agreements in say 50% of negligence cases as Government's 'woke' ideology common law Policies in-turn the power groups in 50% of negligence cases
    In investigations, the civil service or councils have resorted to a cover-up unfair trading – criminal practices in a 2-solicitor legal context as the FUSED loop (Implied + common law) has been breached in all civil-service/councils common law ‘woke’ ideology Policies at the start in a system’s failure
    The good faith agreements (Implied statute + common law) is delivered as solicitor's confirmed common law, breach of the law of the land making all agreements ‘null and void’ in what is an unlawful ‘verbal and written’ diarrhoea ‘common law’ system.
    The 'U'-turn System's Unfair Trading was reported because of the FUSION MISTAKE, which led to instant TERMINATION for repudiatory breaches of good faith agreements. The government's 'U'-turn common law 'woke' Policies do not stack up, UK wide as Implied statute FUSION loop is missing in the Government’s MISTAKE, eg PSO/RICS’s £50 offer in a divided system
    In the government’s ‘woke’ ideology turns Lawful (top-down) Policies upside down and smashes customers. The customers tenants and landlords are badly abused, called ‘rogue’ landlords by the top civil service ‘woke’ ideology common law unlawful trading business (manipulation, misrepresentation, defamation) in a ‘verbal and written’ diarrhoea REFUSAL system that does not make any sense, in turn with about 50% of the common law power groups being well protected with customer’s denied implied statute for customer protection or redress when letting agents or solicitors are negligent with the missing FUSION (implied statute + common law)


    A? You lost me at "God’s top-down plan fused loop (statute +common law)". Please can your translate?


    He's in the wrong forum. This is for landlords, not lawyers.


    Seek help.


    Totally agree, I think! 🤔


    He's given away his lack of real legal knowledge in making the common mistake of misusing "verbal" which is actually using words whether spoken or written compared with "oral" which is the spoken word only.

    Comparing verbal agreements with written agreements is wrong as all written agreements are verbal in that they use words and the real comparison should be with written and oral agreements.

    However this basic rookie error doesn't take away from the overall impression of total claptrap in his post.

    I've no idea what he means. I just know I don't care and wouldn't place any credence on it even if I did care and did understand it.


    Nurse, he's escaped again !!

    George Dawes

    Are you related to that gibbons chap ?

  • icon
    • B L
    • 25 March 2023 12:23 PM

    What he meant was that we have heard enough nonsense. Talk a lot, waste everyone's time but no constructive solutions. Did you get it?

  • icon

    Sandra. So you reported a landlord for having no EPC but there are 100’s of thousands of those. I counted 12 in one Road alone and on checking loads in other Roads and areas whether expired or never existed. This is all Public knowledge on the web for all to see so the Council would have open access to this already.
    Sandra it seems this is not your landlord if it was you would have known if you received the “Right 2 Rent “ guide when taking the property and signing the Contract.
    Landlords are required to have a multitude of documents and give to Tenants prior to granting a Tenancy.
    It follows it should be illegal for Tenants to Rent a property that don’t have those documents and Tenants should be prosecuted.
    The Contract should be declared null & void and Tenant required to leave immediately for illegal occupation, too many are happy to take the property and complain when they are in.
    Landlords so from the comment I am responding to if you have problem Tenants get a third Party to report you to exempt you from Council action.


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