Landlords to be Legally Required to be part of a Redress Scheme
Em Morley - January 25, 2019
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, has announced that landlords will be legally required to be part of a redress scheme, or face a £5,000 fine.
The new Housing Complaints Resolution Service will be a
single housing complaints service for all residents, including private tenants
The Government believes that it will make it easier for
people to claim compensation when it is owed. It intends to work with key
stakeholders to establish this, forming a redress reform working group.
At present, landlords in the private rental sector are not
obliged to register with a complaints system.
However, under the plans announced yesterday (24th
January 2019), it will become a legal requirement for private landlords to join
a redress scheme, or they could face a fine of up to £5,000 for failing to do
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has outlined a
number of concerns about the plans.
The organisation’s Policy Director, David Smith, says that
the evidence that the Government has doesn’t support the need for the changes,
and it appears that little thought has been given about how all of the new
legislation will fit together and be enforced.
The RLA is also worried about the cost element.
Dr. Smith says: “It will be
yet another cost and yet another layer of complexity, possibly with relatively
little end product.
“We also need clarification on what the
situation will be for landlords who use letting agents. Agents already have to
be a member of a redress scheme – so landlords using them would be paying
No clear date has been set for the
introduction of the new rules.
Announcing the plans, Brokenshire said: “The
proposals I have announced today will help ensure all residents are able to
access help when they need it, so disputes can be resolved faster, and people
can get compensation where it’s owed.”
The new measures form part of the Government’s response to the consultation Strengthening Consumer Redress in the
Housing Market. In this, the Government has outlined that, in the
long-term, it has the “ambition” that there should be
a single code of practice on complaint handling in the housing industry.
Since 1st October 2014, it has
been a requirement for all letting and property management agents in England to
be a part of a redress scheme.
Paul Shamplina, the Founder of Landlord
Action, gives his thoughts on the announcement: “For
the first time ever, private landlords will be legally required to join a
housing redress scheme. Personally, I think this is a really positive step, not
only in boosting protection for millions of renters across the country, but
also for recognising landlord-ing as the professional business that it should
“It will encourage landlords to focus on customer service and building
relationships, as well as the quality of their properties, help to
professionalise the industry, and provide a level playing field for landlords
We will keep you up to date on further plans to implement the new rules.