Citizens Advice responds to announcement of private rented sector changes

By agency reporter
October 2, 2017

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has announced that it will be compulsory for private rented sector landlords to sign up to a redress scheme  and that there will be a consultation on a new housing court.

Earlier this year Citizens Advice called for the introduction of a free, mandatory and independent way for tenants to make complaints – also known as alternative dispute resolution – across the private rented sector. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/24150)

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Renters living in squalid or unsafe homes have limited options when landlords let them down.

“Tenants whose landlords dispute the need for essential repairs or improvements often end up having to pay out of their own pocket - and some fear being evicted in retaliation. Currently the time, complexity and cost of taking a rogue landlord to court means that this is a route taken by just one in 100 private tenants.

“For people paying high rents for homes in a poor condition there needs to be an easier and cheaper option to be heard – which is why it’s welcome that the government has recognised the need for renters to have access to a redress scheme, bringing it into line with other consumer markets. It's important that the scheme is free to access and available for any type of dispute.”

Citizens Advice is also calling for it to be a requirement that properties meet a national minimum health and safety standard before a landlord can let them out.

* Citizens Advice https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

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