Propertymark rejects single housing ombudsman and calls for property redress portal

The Government’s proposal to introduce a single housing sector ombudsman has been rejected by Propertymark who have instead called for an ombudsman portal.

In a joint response issued by ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark, the organisations state that there should instead be two ombudsman – one for private private housing complaints and another for social housing.

However, the response does set out that these should be reached through a single ombudsman portal, with an aim to bring ‘clarity to consumers and ensure they know where to go to raise housing related complaints.’

Given the differing type of redress sought in regard to property related complaints, the organisations doubt the feasibility of having a single property sector ombudsman. Instead, they state that ‘based on knowledge, size of membership, experience and capacity’ the Property Ombudsman should be for private housing and the Housing Ombudsman should be for social housing. Whilst the former will cover the private rented sector, land and new homes, sales and letting agents and block management, the latter will cover housing associations, social landlords and providers of social homes.

Propertymark state that the overarching principles for how complaints should be handled in these two areas should be outlined by the ombudsmen. It states that by doing this, existing procedures will be unified and it will help to ensure redress scheme members are working to a consistent set of standards.

The full response can be accessed here.

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