Lucy has been raising issues in Parliament concerning regulation of letting and managing agents in the private rented sector. She was very pleased to discuss this because of the urgent need to address bad practice and unscrupulous managing agents, who have been allowed free rein due to the Leasehold and Valuations Tribunal's (LVT) lack of teeth. Many constituents for Manchester Central have reported their past experiences of these problems to Lucy.
As a result, after coming under pressure to act, the Government have at last listened and come round to the obvious reality that tenants should be guaranteed access to redress through an Ombudsman, an independent service which would address contention between tenants, landlords and agents. This will make it easier for landlords and tenants to pursue complaints, identify malpractising agents and for a resolution to be made locally, therefore bringing up standards of practice in the sector as a whole.
Lucy therefore wrote to the Department for Communities and Local Government and urged them to set a clear action timetable for the introduction of the Ombudsman. The Government's response confirmed that the process will start early in 2014, when they will be approving schemes, and that it will have full effect later in the year.
"The redress scheme is a great way to rectify many of the problems in the private rented sector, and the Ombudsman service will offer a clear route for tenants and landlords to follow up their complaints. I am very happy to hear that the Government has confirmed that the process will begin early next year and you can be sure that I will continue to urge ministers to secure a fairer deal for tenants. I'll also follow the Government's progress very closely during 2014 to see how the scheme develops. "