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Ombudsman urges social landlords to access online casebook for lessons on dealing with complaints

Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway has said that his online casebook now includes almost 1,000 decisions, from which providers can draw lessons about how complaints are managed and decided.

The casebook provides findings of maladministration, but also cases where no maladministration was found or where the redress provided by a landlord was appropriate.

Mr Blakeway said: “Our approach to openness through publishing decisions promotes accountability, learning and awareness of the difference complaints can make.

“They help to illustrate what we find reasonable when considering what is fair in all the circumstances.

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“I would encourage landlords to make use of this resource and benefit from lessons learned that we’re sharing across the sector.”

Among the latest batch of decisions was a case about a long period of inaction by Clarion in dealing with repairs during which it missed an opportunity to fix an electrical issue before lockdown and then took no action despite being aware of a damaged electricity cable which meant the resident could not use a bedroom for seven months.

In that case he found maladministration and ordered Clarion to pay compensation of £1,400.

A case concerning Guinness Housing said it responded properly to a resident’s report of a blocked drain but failed to adequately consider whether the resident should move out or what could be done to help him to stay.

Maladministration was found with Guinness ordered to refund the £1,280 rent paid for his flat while he was absent and £700 compensation for the inconvenience.

Habinteg Housing Association was found to have offered adequate redress following a complaint about mould.

The Ombudsman said the combination of the apologies offered, service improvements and a compensation award represented appropriate redress for the service failures.

Clarion and Guinness did not respond to requests for comment.

Mark Smulian

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