Compulsory redress scheme for Landlords.
17 October 2017
The Conservative government has recently announced an intention to introduce a compulsory redress scheme for landlords and tenants. There are no firm plans in place yet, but it seems to be another piece of the ever increasing regulatory burden placed on UK landlords.
It seems likely to us that the ‘redress scheme’ will be similar to the Ombudsman schemes already in existence in other sectors providing a legally binding dispute resolution service. Landlords will have to sign up to a Code of Conduct and disputes with tenants will be directed through the Ombudsman Service before going to Court.
Exactly how the system will work is not yet clear – but what is clear is that this is likely to be introduced as yet another protection to tenants (and a burden on landlords!).
The Communities Secretary Sajid Javid was clear when he stated that the government would “insist that all landlords are part of a redress scheme”. He went on to explain that tenants have been unable to resolve issues for long enough and are faced with insecure tenancies, unfair lettings agent fees and poor treatment from their landlords.
There are already a number of Ombudsman schemes in the sector, but none are compulsory for private landlords. The Housing Ombudsman Service is mandatory for social landlords and The Property Ombudsman relates to sales and lettings agents. It is not clear whether one of these schemes will be extended to include private landlords, or whether a new scheme will be introduced. The National Landlords Association offers a Code of Practice for landlords but doesn’t have a dispute resolution service with any real power.
Here at Curtis Law Solicitors we have expertise in advising Landlords across Lancashire and Greater Manchester, and our expert team are on hand to assist whatever your tenants throw at you. In recent times we have also had to be on hand to assist whatever the Government throws at you!
Iain Blundell, Solicitor leading our Landlord and Tenant department, comments: “This proposal will be welcomed by tenants but will feel like yet another blow to the private residential landlord. Times are hard in the sector with a lot of changes coming through over a relatively short period of time. There have been recent changes to Stamp Duty, Mortgage interest tax relief and ‘wear and tear’ tax allowances, all of which seem particularly hostile to landlords’ businesses. Further protections have been given to tenants by way of amended Notices, Tenancy Deposit Schemes and an increased requirement to serve prescribed documents at the outset of a tenancy. It is clear that this government does not mind pitting itself against the ordinary residential landlord.”
Are you a landlord? Or Letting Agent? Do you need advice about how to deal with the deluge of recent changes? Need advice on problem tenants, tenancy agreements, or property matters? Please contact Iain Blundell, or our expert team at Curtis Law.
We can assist with a wide range of Landlord and Tenant enquiries – please contact us direct on 01254 297130.