Ombudsman Services: Property has launched the first round of what could become a bid to be the sole ombudsman in the housing market, potentially offering redress across the private and social housing sectors as well as house building, and repairs.
A new survey, Building Balance, has been launched, asking for views on a topics such as whether there should be a single ombudsman, and whether the current system is muddling for users.
Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith introduces the survey by making his own views perfectly clear: “The current system for resolving complaints is broken. It’s difficult to know where to go to for redress, the current system is ineffective and doesn’t provide the service that consumers need.
“We believe a fair, balanced system that has the legal powers to put things right is required, one that will serve the whole of society and gives people a voice when it comes to their homes. So we are working to develop a model that works for everyone.”
Ombudsman Services: Property, which currently provides redress for the RICS, is managing a staged withdrawal from the current system and will be out of the sector by August.
The Government’s proposals, currently out at consultation, look like opening a power struggle between the existing ombudsman schemes.
The Property Ombudsman, Katrine Sporle, has made it clear that she believes there should only be one redress scheme in the private market, effectively rejecting the Government’s proposal that one ombudsman should serve the entire housing market.
The Ombudsman Services: Property questionnaire is at: https://www.buildingbalance.co.uk/