Following the launch of the Government’s consultation to improve redress in the housing sector and the introduction of a single housing ombudsman, Kim Vernau, CEO of BLP Insurance, comments on the importance of giving buyers of new build homes a streamlined process for redress
The announcement of a single housing ombudsman comes less than two weeks after Ombudsman Services said it would quit the property sector, saying it no longer wanted to officiate arbitration services as “a broken solution to a broken market”.
It will begin a managed withdrawal from the schemes it runs for agents, surveyors and managing agents. It plans to exit by 6 August.
Commenting on the announcement of a single housing ombudsman, Kim Vernau, CEO of BLP Insurance said: “The construction of new build homes to help meet the Government’s ambitious targets must be supported by a simplified and straightforward redress process, which can be accessed by the prospective purchaser and new homeowner when issues arise. The current process is confusing, serviced by a proliferation of Consumer Codes all of which vary slightly in terms of what they cover. There is also a lack of clarity for the homeowner as to which Ombudsman has the remit to address new home issues, if any.
“While the details of the new process still need to be developed, the consultation provides a welcome opportunity to deliver an effective and streamlined redress system for the benefit of consumers.”
Ombudsman Services’ withdrawal will leave just two organisations offering redress to the public who have complaints against sales and lettings agents.
The older is the Property Ombudsman and is the de facto organisation for almost all NAEA and ARLA members.
The other is the Property Redress Scheme, launched when the Government said it wanted more choice in the market when it made redress compulsory for letting agents.
The full consultation document can be viewed here.