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Housing Ombudsman reaches 350 decisions on complaints against landlords in first three months

The Housing Ombudsman has published details of more than 350 individual decisions to its online casebook on complaints made against social landlords since the database's conception in March this year.

Cases published to the online database cover a range of issues the Ombudsman has considered, from repairs and anti-social behaviour to complaint handling and maladministration, as well as the type of outcomes following an investigation.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said the record of decisions provide "a rich source of learning for landlords" and are a key part of the watchdog's commitment to being open and transparent.

Clarion, the UK's largest housing association, is amongst the landlords criticised in the casebook. Ombudsman's recent decisions. The Ombudsman found the housing association failed to respond to a resident's reports of noise in an appropriate and reasonable manner or in accordance with its anti-social behaviour policy.

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During its investigation, it also uncovered maladministration and ordered the landlord to put together a detailed action plan with timescales to deal with ongoing issues as well as paying compensation to the resident.

Investigations into disrepair complaints also feature in the casebook. One such investigation exposed maladministration by Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association after the Ombudsman found a resident had to chase the landlord for two years for a response to reports of a leak into her property while the problem with water damage continued.

According to the Ombudsman, poor record-keeping and poor communication led to the failures. The watchdog ordered the landlord to pay the resident a total amount of £1,250.

Mr Blakeway added: "As our online casebook grows, it promotes fairness, accountability and the difference complaints can make.

"Several of the cases highlighted cover periods during Covid-19 and relate to issues where we continue to see challenges in complaint handling, such as responding to repairs or noise issues. As steps are made towards removing restrictions, handling complaints effectively is essential, and we hope sharing the learning from our casebook will support these efforts.

"I would encourage landlords to regularly use our decisions to help improve services and complaint handling. It also helps residents in understanding the issues we can consider and the decisions we make."

The casebook can be accessed here.

Adam Carey


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