Following calls from the Citizens Advice, Sajid Javid recently announced plans to put in place a compulsory arbitration scheme for landlords. It will soon become a legal requirement for private landlords to sign up to the scheme, so tenants can access a dispute resolution process if they have issues with their landlord.
The scheme first came to the attention of the press when Mr Javid spoke about it at the Conservative Party Conference.
“For too long, tenants have felt unable to resolve the issues they’ve faced, be it insecure tenure, unfair letting agents’ fees or poor treatment by their landlord, with little or no means of redress. We’re going to change that.”
Dispute Resolution Could Benefit Landlords
Whilst the scheme is designed to protect tenants from bad landlords, it should help landlords too, as arbitration will uphold the legal rights of landlords, especially in the case of lawful evictions.
Will Dispute Resolution Work?
Many tenant/landlord problems arise because of poor communication. Dispute resolution enables a conversation to take place between both parties, in a safe and secure setting. Most issues can be solved privately, but if an issue can’t be resolved, dispute resolution is a useful forum to explore.
Industry bodies point out that professional letting agents don’t need a redress scheme as they are registered with ARLA, but they acknowledge that an independent dispute resolution service can be useful.
Good landlords are usually keen to resolve disputes quickly and amicably, without the need for arbitration, but if all else fails, independent arbitration can help.