Housing sector redress consultation receives criticism

The government’s consultation to review the system for housing sector redress has come under scrutiny.

James Davis, founder of online letting agency Upad.co.uk has described the launch of the consultation as a ‘futile exercise whilst awareness amongst those who it is supposed to benefit remains non-existent.’

Whilst he took the view that a more streamlined system of redress would not be a bad thing, he expressed the need for awareness to be raised before changes to the current model are proposed.

James stated: “On face value, a clearer, more streamlined system of redress is not a bad thing.  However, I’m not just a letting agency CEO, but a landlord too and having personally arranged over 100 tenancy agreements, I’ve not once had a tenant ask whether I’m accredited or not.  Other landlords I know have experienced the same and the reason is simply that there’s zero awareness.”

He went on to highlight the lack of real governmental understanding of the sector, and that in turn, housing has felt the negative impact of this.

“As Secretary of State for Housing, Sajid Javid will take the credit, or otherwise, for whatever comes out of this consultation.  The fact remains, however, that he doesn’t have a background in housing and I question the extent to which his department has already sought input from those at property’s coalface.

“You could argue that this consultation is our opportunity for that input, but it’s not what is needed.  Current redress and ombudsmen schemes have pitifully low awareness, whilst accreditation schemes are barely worth the paper they’re written on.  Simply, there’s apathy around this issue that a consultation of this type won’t address.

“Instead, those with genuine industry insight need to be given the opportunity to manage investment into property redress and develop it the same way that ATOL and the Financial Services Ombudsman have been allowed to. Let’s first raise awareness of property redress and THEN decide how it’s best managed.”

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