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Housing Ombudsman launches investigation into anti-social behaviour and noise complaints

The Housing Ombudsman is surveying social housing landlords and their residents as part of a new investigation into how noise complaints are managed under anti-social behaviour policies.

New recommendations and best practices for the sector will be devised based on the findings of its investigations, the Ombudsman said. 

The investigation will consider how policies on noise work in practice, how landlords work with other agencies, how to mitigate inherent modern noise and what successful intervention looks like.

Two separate surveys are being conducted to gather insight from landlords and residents for the investigation. In addition, the Ombudsman is analysing previous cases it has investigated together with fieldwork in five landlords of varying size, type and location and their residents.

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More than 800 noise complaints have been received by the Ombudsman over the last three years, with maladministration findings made in 41% of the cases.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said noise complaints can have a "particularly significant impact on residents causing deep frustration and stress, and it's an area that also presents difficult challenges for landlords."

Mr Blakeway added: "We are keen to examine all aspects of noise related complaints and particularly how complaints are managed under anti-social behaviour policies. The statutory thresholds can be high and result in a lengthy process for residents while they may continue to experience the disturbance.

"Our investigation will examine the relationship between anti-social behaviour and noise transference from our unique and independent perspective, so we can share best practice and learning across the social housing sector."

Adam Carey

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