On 22 March 2022 the Housing Ombudsman called for stronger regulation of managing agents following an investigation into unfairness to social landlord residents. The Ombudsman examined 62 cases investigated over one year where the landlord had to engage managing agents and private freeholders to resolve issues. It found a high level of maladministration at 64.5 per cent in those cases, about a third higher than the average for casework in the same period. Recommendations in the report include:
- a standalone regulator driving consistency and improvement, given the managing agent sector presents significant challenges and risks to social landlords
- sector collaboration to increase their collective influence on rogue or poor performing managing agents
- shared understanding of the challenges and risks associated with new homes between development and operational teams
- reviewing agreements with managing agents to clarify roles and responsibilities and consistent approach to escalating issues
- reviewing complaints and service and repair requests in buildings managed by third parties to ensure they are effective.