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Redressing the balance

16 April 2018

Redressing the balance [ 370 kb] sets out how the government can improve dispute resolution in the private rented sector.

Redressing the balance report cover

The private rented sector now houses 4.7 million households, including a growing number of families. But if a landlord acts unlawfully or offers a poor service, only a small minority of tenants have access to an ombudsman scheme. Most rely on the courts and overstretched local authorities- and are too often left frustrated, out of pocket or putting up with problems as a result.

The government’s consultation on strengthening consumer redress in housing recognises the need for change. The proposal to introduce a mandatory ombudsman scheme for private landlords has the potential to raise housing standards and improve options for renters. When designing an ombudsman for private landlords, the government needs to consider the following areas:

  • Improving landlord and agents’ internal complaints processes.

  • Ensuring all tenants can access redress.

  • Streamlining the consumer journey.

  • Making decisions enforceable.

You can also read our consultation response [ 290 kb] to the government’s proposals for strengthening consumer redress in the housing market.