The TDS Charitable Foundation is developing a “My Housing Issue” gateway website to help private and social housing tenants resolve their housing problems through signposting and tailored information provision. By helping people find a clear path to the appropriate forum for making complaints and resolving disputes, it aims to reduce confusion, simplify access to redress, and increase tenants’ knowledge of their rights and available options.
What barriers do private tenants currently face to accessing redress?
The existing redress landscape in the private rented sector is complex and confusing. There are several places a person might go to resolve a housing issue, including: local councils, ombudsman schemes, county courts, tribunals, deposit adjudication services and trading standards. The proposed introduction of a new PRS Landlord Ombudsman as outlined within the Renters (Reform) Bill, risks adding to existing complexity.
What is needed?
Various organisations and housing experts called for the creation of a single point of access or portal to simplify the redress system and reduce confusion. Despite its popularity, a single access point for those experiencing housing disputes has not yet materialised.
The “My Housing Issue” gateway service
The TDS Charitable Foundation is funding the tech company PocketApp to design and deliver a “My Housing Issue” gateway website to help both private and social housing tenants progress towards a resolution of their disputes.
The website will act as a signposting service and help tenants identify the correct dispute resolution mechanism or resolution provider for their problem, whilst encouraging the early resolution of disputes where possible and providing tailored information about housing rights and options in an interactive and user-friendly format.