A new online that enables tenants in the private rented sector to resolve property repair disputes with their landlord or letting agent has been launched by the government.
Created in partnership with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the tool asks tenants a dozen or question about how the disrepair problem has affects their property, circumstances, health and finances, whether it’s an urgent issue or not and also how their landlord or agent has behaved.
After completing this, tenants are then informed of their rights depending on the problem involved and then points them towards more help including how to contact their local council and how to report their landlord or agent for repairs failures.
The tool also features dozens of links to the Shelter tenant helpline and website guides and is designed to stop disputes escalating.
This is a key milestone in the MOJ’s Legal Support Action Plan, in which the government committed to exploring a number of changes across the full breadth of legal support, focusing on what legal support works for the people who need it.
“We are committed to ensuring that people have access to early legal support as it is vital that problems are resolved before they escalate,” says Justice Minister, Lord Wolfson (pictured).
“This pilot will help us understand the role of early legal support and how this can be designed around what works for people who need it. I am delighted that we are able to deliver this work with support from MHCLG and advice sector organisations.”
Timothy Douglas (pictured), Policy and Campaigns Manager for trade association Propertymark, says: “Alongside this pilot the UK Government should be highlighting the expertise professional letting agents offer.
“They help both landlords and tenants understand their rights and responsibilities and look to resolve issues before problems escalate.
“Across the private rented sector, we know poor communication can be at the root of the problem and a diligent agent will ensure a tenant’s home is safe, warm and not in a state of disrepair meaning less disputes to be resolved by relevant authorities.”