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Ombudsman Services to withdraw from property

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Ombudsman Services is to withdraw from complaints handling in the property sector.

The multi-sector Ombudsman provides dispute resolution services for sectors including communications, energy and copyright licensing sectors.

It says it will work with charities, consumer groups, property professionals and the public on a report looking at the creation of a single housing ombudsman, an idea promoted by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.

Ombudsman Services will now begin a managed withdrawal from the schemes it currently operates for surveyors, managing agents, estate agents and letting agents ahead of its withdrawal on 6 August 2018.

Ombudsman Services chief ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith says that the housing sector currently suffers from a “really confusing picture” when it comes to getting redress, due to a “patchwork” of schemes which are difficult for ordinary people to navigate.

He adds that it makes more sense to step away and listen to what consumers actually want rather than to continue to offer a “broken solution to a broken market”.

He says: “We fully support Sajid Javid regarding the need for a single ombudsman for housing – only then will the housing sector be able to restore trust and ensure that consumers get a much better standard of service.

“Housing is one of the biggest issues we face as a nation and a fair, balanced, redress system will make sure that it serves the whole of society. We want to work to develop a model that works for everyone.”

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  • Peter Turner 6th February 2018 at 2:44 pm

    I was going to ask if it is right to conclude that the inadequate is worse than none at all.

    I suspect, though, that plenty of us can think of an instance where that is precisely so.