Landlords Ombudsman Coming Soon

Landlords Ombudsman Coming Soon

10:50 AM, 2nd October 2017, About 5 years ago 41

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Landlords Ombudsman membership is to become compulsory it seems.

In Theresa May’s interview on the Andrew Marr show (1st October 2017) she said that she wanted all private landlords to belong to a Redress Scheme like agents currently do, and that landlords should be incentivised to offer longer tenancies.

Three Ombudsman schemes already exist for agents but to date there has been no Landlords Ombudsman.

There were no details offered on these plans other than indicating more will be included in the Autumn Budget Statement on the 22nd November 2017. This is especially critical to understand how landlords will be incentivised to offer longer tenancies as the majority of Buy to Let mortgages preclude in their terms and conditions tenancies of longer than 12 months.

Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said at the Tory party conference: “We will make it mandatory for every landlord to be part of an ombudsman scheme, either directly, or through a letting agent. At the moment landlords, unlike letting agents, are not required to sign up to ombudsman schemes. We will change the law so that this becomes a requirement, giving all tenants access to quick and easy dispute resolution over issues like repairs and maintenance.”

On incentives for longer tenancies Javid said: “Working with the Treasury we will announce at the Autumn Budget a new set of incentives for landlords who offer tenancies of at least 12 months”

However, 12 month ASTs are already fairly common practice in the PRS and allowed under most Buy to Let mortgage T&C’s so it is unclear how much further the government is intending to go.

Javid also indicated there could be plans for a ‘Housing Court’ saying: “We will consult with the judiciary on the case for a new housing court to streamline the current system. We will explore whether a new housing court could improve existing court processes, reduce dependence on legal representation and encourage arbitration, with benefits for both tenants and landlords. We will consult with the judiciary on whether the introduction of a new Housing Court can meet the aim of saving time and money in dealing with disputes.”

Mark Alexander, founder of Property118 said: 

“If you have the right type of properties to attract long term, good quality tenants, don’t stitch yourself or your tenant up with a long term AST. Consider the benefits to all concerned of offering a Deed of Assurance instead. Give your tenants the peace of mind they want and an incentive for them to perform impeccably. It’s then a true win/win situation. Tenants know that if they perform you will have to pay up if you take possession of your property. On the flip side, you may well stand a far better chance of being able to attract the tenants you really want, a premium rent and less voids periods too. It will be interesting to see the detail in the Budget proposals and whether a 12 month AST with a six month break clause coupled with an Deed of Assurance will attract the “incentives”, which are scant on detail at this stage”

“Property118 and Cotswold Barristers are also in discussion with other organisations about the formation of The Landlords Ombudsman, details of which will be announced in due course”

More details about Deed of Assurance here >>>


Romain Garcin

16:14 PM, 5th October 2017, About 5 years ago

If the tenancy has ended and therefore the ex-tenant has no right to the property then proceedings may be started immediately.
This is quite established. Otherwise in general how would the landlord evict? There is no tenancy or licence so there is no longer any notice to give.

Mandy Thomson

16:32 PM, 5th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Romain Garcin at 05/10/2017 - 16:14
Could you please cite a precedent for eviction on tenant's notice? You may recollect we recently had a discussion on this subject in the comments of another post here.

I related a discussion I had had with two of my senior colleagues on the landlord advice line I work for, one a barrister and the other the advice line manager, and both said they could not cite any cases where a landlord had successfully brought an eviction just using the tenant's notice, so they advised using s.21. I invited Property 118 readers to come forward with any such cases and no one responded.

Even if a landlord does submit a claim pursuant to a tenant's notice, they would be using the standard eviction route which would necessitate a court hearing whereas if they use s.21, they will be using the accelerated route with no hearing unless the tenant defends. S.21 is therefore likely to be quicker, despite the 2 months plus notice required.

Mandy Thomson

16:45 PM, 5th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Romain Garcin at 05/10/2017 - 16:14
The act of serving the s.21 is treating the ex-tenant as a tenant again, but if the landlord can't rely on a quick eviction pursuant to the tenant's notice, what else are they to do? In this paricular case, it is still imperative that the landlord does nothing to acknowledge the occupiers as tenants in any way.

Romain Garcin

16:46 PM, 5th October 2017, About 5 years ago

I have no specific case to quote (I have not looked for any).
As said, this is standard, not least because there is no other option in general. I am surprised that the people you talked to did not know how to proceed.
The fact remains that a valid notice to quit ends the tenancy.
Two months is a long time. I am not sure that a s.21 will be faster. And there is also the issue that the landlord must treat the tenancy as having ended at all times.

I do not know if serving a s.21 notice would prejudice the claim that there is no longer any tenancy in existence. Anyway if the tenant sublets then any tenancy is not an AST anyway.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

16:51 PM, 5th October 2017, About 5 years ago

I have emailed Tessa Shepperson from Landlord Law and asked her to comment.


8:33 AM, 7th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Hang on a minute - I'm very confused.

I thought we had all agreed (well the government had) that we didn't run a 'business' - hence the tax changes.

So why do we need a redress system like a 'business' does exactly ?

Will those who invest in gold also have a redress scheme that the gold can complain to should we not treat it properly?

The government needs to make it's mind up.

Either we are a business, or we're not - instead of picking bits that they feel they can tax us extra on.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

8:38 AM, 7th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Daniel Latto at 07/10/2017 - 08:33
Government appear to be saying landlords who employ a letting agent are not a business but those who don't are running a business. This is because they seem to be suggesting that Ombudsman membership will not be required if properties are managed by a regulated agent.

I don't entirely agree with this because my wife and I are definitely running our business as a business despite outsourcing some of the work, in much the same way as many businesses outsource.

I think all MP's from all sides of the house have completely lost their way when it comes to understanding the housing economy, the PRS in particular and how it impacts the wider economy.

terry sullivan

9:44 AM, 7th October 2017, About 5 years ago

another socialist quango from the faux-tory may

Mandy Thomson

11:01 AM, 8th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 05/10/2017 - 16:51
I have found a precedent where a landlord successfully evicted on the strength of a tenant's notice (and was awarded double rent under the Distress for Rent Act): see Thompson v Thorpe and Taylor-Thorpe Leeds County Court 13 December 2012 2QT33017.

As the article refers to the former tenant being treated as a trespasser, I double checked correct possession route and can confirm it is the standard and not the trespasser route.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

11:03 AM, 8th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 08/10/2017 - 11:01
Hi Mandy

This seems to imply that Romain was right. Do you concur?

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