Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said at this week's Conservative Party conference: “We will make it mandatory for every landlord to be part of an ombudsman scheme, either directly, or through a letting agent. At the moment landlords, unlike letting agents, are not required to sign up to ombudsman schemes. We will change the law so that this becomes a requirement, giving all tenants access to quick and easy dispute resolution over issues like repairs and maintenance.”
The proposal is to extend the right for tenants to challenge landlords over unfair treatment and letting fees but results in all, not just the much publicised "rogue landlords", facing extra costs and administration.
Mr Javid also spoke of incentives to landlords for offering tenancies of at least 12 months. Whilst such tenancies are already common, the Government continues to seek more security for tenants so they can be more certain of the length of term in their home.
Of most interest was the mention of a possible Housing Court to offer a more efficient system for dealing with landlord and tenant disputes. Further details are expected from the Government.
All landlords will be forced to join an ombudsman redress scheme, which would give renters more power to challenge rip-off fees and poor treatment, he added. The Government will also bring in new laws requiring all letting agents to be registered, ending current rules that allow people to operate in the role without qualifications or professional oversight.