Posted by Andy Soloman - 06 March, 2020
A new report from Justice, the influential all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system, has proposed a ‘bold, ambitious’ model to resolve housing disputes and suggested that live chat is an important channel for customer contact.
The report entitled "Solving Housing Disputes" proposes a Housing Dispute Service (HDS), which fuses elements of problem-solving, investigative, holistic and mediative models used elsewhere in the justice system.
Yomdel, through its long-standing relationship and work with The Property Ombudsman, also contributed to the report.
The HDS should also be capable of offering initial procedural advice to those who contact it via multiple channels, but it cited the Yomdel live chat service in particular as an example that worked well and said similar services should be part of any future HDS.
"The Property Ombudsmen (TPO) offers a 24/7 live webchat function, which offers a first point of contact to assess whether a dispute is within the TPO’s jurisdiction and to guide claimants to take the necessary steps (such as exhausting internal complaint processes) before submitting a formal complaint," said the report.
"The HDS should offer a similar approach to initial procedural advice, over webchat and over the phone, to encourage those who contact the service to exhaust internal complaint avenues with the housing provider, to guide users through initiating a dispute and signpost them to sources of early advice," it added.
Justice says many people find it difficult to access to housing rights. Legal aid cuts have caused large parts of the housing advice sector to collapse, resulting in ‘advice deserts’, while local authorities struggle under the demand for homelessness assistance.
You can access a full copy of the report here Solving Housing Disputes, a report by Justice.
Yomdel works with a variety of ombudsman and consumer redress schemes. You can read more about our work with The Property Ombudsman here