Ombudsman Services invites industry to share views on housing redress
With an aim to assess the best steps to improve the handling of complaints in the housing sector, Ombudsman Services has launched a new platform for interested parties to share their views.
The release follows the OS’ announcement to withdraw from the property sector later this year, stating that they would no longer offer a ‘broken solution to a broken market’. The organisation describes the current housing complaints system as ‘in desperate need of an overhaul’ and causing a great deal of confusion when consumers are in need of redress.
Ombudsman Services are now inviting all renters, tenants, homeowners and property professionals to share their views on the new portal, Building Balance, where they will then fill in a questionnaire. They’re asking for problems faced, experiences of making a complaint and recommendations for how the system could be improved.
Following the closure of the platform, the results will be presented in a White Paper to the government in a bid to ensure the findings are included within the Ministry Of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s own consultation on consumer redress in the housing sector.
Commenting on the announcement was Lewis Shand Smith. The Chief Ombudsman stated: “During our ten years helping consumers with complaints in the housing sector, we have seen first-hand the impact that the confusing and complicated system has had on them.
“Housing is one of the biggest issues we face as a nation, but the current system for resolving complaints is broken. It’s difficult to know where to go to complain, the current system is ineffective, and doesn’t provide the service that consumers need.
“We believe a fair, balanced, system that has the legal powers to put things right is required, one that will serve the whole of society and gives people a voice when it comes to their homes. So we are working to develop a model that works for everyone.
“We know a new solution is needed, but we don’t have all the answers. We need your views; your experiences in dealing with housing issues, your thoughts on what an ombudsman for housing should look like. Whether you’re a renter, tenant, homeowner or work in the property sector, we want to hear from you. Please visit www.buildingbalance.co.uk today and tell us what you think.”