Landlord News

Redress Reform is a Positive Step, but Landlords need Time to Prepare

Rose Jinks - February 1, 2019

A rental platform is welcoming new plans for wide-ranging reform of the housing redress system, but warns that landlords need to be given plenty of time to prepare.

The call by RentalStep comes after the recent announcement by the Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire MP, which outlined various proposals to reform the housing redress system.

At the heart of the reform is the formation of a housing complaints resolution service, which would create a one-stop-shop for all complaints relating to every tenure of housing.

Furthermore, under the new rules, all private landlords would be required to join a redress scheme, with fines of £5,000 for those that fail to comply.

The proposed changes will be discussed, reworked and revised later this year by a redress reform working group, which will include existing redress schemes, as well as the Government.

Mike Georgeson, the Founder and Chief Executive of RentalStep, insists: “While the planned reforms are a positive move – protecting tenants and giving them a fair right to redress – it’s also vital that landlords are given enough time to adjust to yet more changes and new regulation.

“This is another measure for landlords to be aware of and another cost to bear, so they need to be given fair warning of when the reforms are coming into play and what exactly they will involve.”

He adds: “Landlords will have to pay to join a redress scheme and could also be fined in the event of non-compliance – the prospect of these extra expenses could be a cause of concern for many.”

As the costs of letting a property continue to rise, any way that landlords can reduce their monthly outgoings should be fully explored, Georgeson believes.

“With the ever-growing financial pressures on landlords, reducing costs where possible is a wise and pragmatic move,” he explains. “Cost-cutting is an especially important consideration at a time when Brexit uncertainty, the prospect of increased management fees, as a result of the incoming ban on tenant fees, and other new legislation is squeezing landlords more than ever.”

Landlords, make sure you stay on top of all new regulations, including redress reform.