The government is introducing a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service to cover the entire housing market.
It means that dissatisfied homeowners and tenants will have simple and quick access to help when things go wrong.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the new service will cover everything from broken boilers to cracks in the wall and will potentially help millions by providing a straightforward way of getting help when faced with unresolved disputes about problems with their home such as repairs and maintenance.
It’s hoped that establishing a single housing complaints service for all residents – no matter whether they rent or own their home – will prevent people from battling with their landlord or builder to resolve issues on their own and make it easier to claim compensation where it’s owed.
Mr Brokenshire said it’s important to ensure that people can get the help they need when something goes wrong. He added: “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.”
Under the new regulations, private landlords will be legally required to become members of a redress scheme – with a fine of up to £5,000 if they fail to do so.
And to protect the interests of home-owners who buy new build homes, the government has reiterated its commitment to establishing a New Homes Ombudsman who will champion home buyers, protect their interests and hold developers to account.
Legislation will be brought forward to require all new developers to belong to the Ombudsman scheme– giving homebuyers the confidence that when they get the keys to a new home they are getting the quality of build they expect.
Developers will also have to belong to the new body by 2021 if they wish to participate in the government’s landmark Help to Buy scheme.