23 August, 2018
The Claims Regulator (CMR) has published its annual report. In the report, the CMR confirms that within the past year they have successfully managed to strike down misconduct in the holiday sickness claims market. However, the consequence of the crack down on holiday sickness claims appears to be an unexpected increase in housing disrepair claims.
The increased activity in housing disrepair claims during the last year, has formed part of a wider upward trend of property related complaints including cavity wall insulation claims and claims about the condition of rental properties. According to CMR figures, the growth occurred mainly during the second half of the year, coinciding with receipt of a rise in reports from local authorities and social housing providers about activities in this sector, including reports of door-to-door canvassing.
Since 2015/2016, the CMC industry turnover in relation to housing disrepair has increased from £0.6 million to £1.5 million in 2017/2018. There has also been a "27% increase in the number of businesses operating in the housing disrepair sector to 146 CMCs which equates to approximately 12% of the total number of authorised CMCs. New applications for authorisation, which include housing disrepair as an operating sector, have also increased by 69% from 13 in 2016/17 to 22 in 2017/18".
The CMR have confirmed that they are dealing with this matter, they are sourcing intelligence and conducting a series of audits of CMCs operating in this claim area.
Overall the CMR annual report offered encouraging news, the number of regulated personal injury CMCs fell again this year by 16% from 752 to 630. This is an ongoing trend in the PI sector since the implementation of the referral fee ban in April 2013, with an overall reduction of 68% from 2,316 authorised PI CMCs just prior to the introduction of the referral fee ban.
The increased activity in the housing disrepair market is concerning, the CMR however intend to monitor developments to protect landlords from rogue CMC practices. Landlords need to be live to this issue and closely monitor claims for housing disrepair.