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Property regulation overhaul is required – Edwards

by: David Edwards, commercial director of Personal Touch
  • 23/03/2018
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Property regulation overhaul is required – Edwards
Regulation is king in the mortgage industry. Since M-Day back in 2004 the way in which brokers and lenders operate has been closely monitored – but the property sector is a different matter.

As we’ve seen in the last few years, mortgage regulation is frequently assessed with tighter rules being brought into play, as and when it is deemed necessary.

Despite this however, there are often times when firms act in a way which leaves consumers feeling they have been treated improperly.

In these situations those consumers know they have somewhere to turn to in order to seek redress.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) may not be perfect but it is certainly a much-needed body within the financial services industry.


Property problems

In the housing sector the practise for seeking redress is not as clear cut.

The housing market currently has three government approved ombudsmen – Ombudsman Services – Property, The Property Ombudsman and The Property Redress Scheme.

The one complainants should approach will depend on which scheme the company or person they’re complaining about is a member of.

Each scheme covers various sections of the housing industry with some overlapping.

And if this isn’t confusing enough now the Ombudsman Services – Property has announced it will be withdrawing from the property sector in order that a clearer system can be created.


New build nightmares

There is little doubt that something needs to be done in this area.

We’ve had countless horror stories in the press in recent months from new build nightmares to estate agent failings and everything in the middle.

With the ongoing housing crisis, buyers and owners have enough to deal with without having nowhere to turn should things go wrong.

In recent weeks two separate consultations have been launched looking into the creation of a new build homes ombudsman and a clearer redress scheme for the housing market as a whole.

Buying a property is the biggest financial commitment most of us are likely to make.

If the mortgage market is so heavily regulated and includes a clear-cut path for redress there is no reason why the housing market shouldn’t have the same.

Consultations are all well and good, but the government needs to take action now.

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