However, following pressure from the Federation, peers have agreed to retain the option for tenants to go directly to the Housing Ombudsman if eight weeks have elapsed since the end of the landlord’s internal complaints process.
Under the amendment – tabled by the Government – tenants will also be allowed direct access if a local representative explicitly declines to refer the complaint to the ombudsman or agrees that the tenant may approach the ombudsman directly.
David Orr, chief executive of the Federation, said: ‘We’re very pleased that the Government have listened to our concerns and that tenants will retain their right to have their complaints heard by an independent ombudsman.
‘This is a victory for common sense and a victory for tenants and landlords who were united in their opposition to the proposed changes.’
Innisfree Housing tenant Bernadette Gallagher said: ‘I’m really pleased the Government have listened to tenants and changed their minds. Of course we should be able to speak to our own Ombudsman if we want to – without having to reveal personal details to a third party.’
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