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England to introduce revised housing sector complaints system

A revised Housing Complaints Resolution Service is to be introduced in England with the aim to simplify the process for addressing unresolved disputes ranging from broken boilers to structural issues

The government has unveiled a new single complaints service for the entire housing sector to simplify how both renters and home owners can seek redress for faulty construction or building services work.

A revised Housing Complaints Resolution Service has been created to replace several existing complaints bodies presently available to homeowners and tenants in England to register a grievance for work that has been commissioned for their properties.

Legislation is intended to be introduced as soon as possible to try and streamline the existing complaints process amidst concerns raised in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety that identified a need for change in how grievances were registered.

The government said in a statement, “From broken boilers to cracks in the wall, the new Housing Complaints Resolution Service will potentially help millions by providing a straight-forward way of getting help when faced with unresolved disputes about problems with their home – such as repairs and maintenance.”

Communities secretary James Brokenshire said that new system was intended to ensure that faults or improper work within the sector were recognised and addressed in a timely and effective manner.

“All too often the process can be confusing and overly bureaucratic, leaving many homeowners and tenants feeling like there is nowhere to go in the event of problems with their home.”

“The proposals I have announced 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.”

He said that new laws to simplify the process from a range of existing complaint bodies and mechanisms in the housing market.

Mr Brokenshire said the private rented sector did not presently have a legal obligation for landlords to be part of a complaints system. However, legislative change would ensure private landlords are required to be part of an approved redress scheme or else face of fine of up to £5,000.

A separate system that will specifically address problems within the social housing sector is also being formalised, according to the government.

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