Section: Ombudsman

Housing Ombudsman urges social landlords to do more to address residents' individual circumstances in cladding complaints

Posted 18.05.21
Housing Ombudsman Service: Further reading

The Housing Ombudsman has identified three key lessons for social landlords in dealing with complaints about cladding to ensure that the impact on all residents is recognised.

Its report focuses on where it has received most complaints - the response of social landlords to leaseholders and shared owners seeking to re-mortgage, staircase or sell - and highlights the Ombudsman's concern with fairness.

While social landlords have prioritised their remedial programmes based on the fire risk to residents, the Ombudsman is concerned that residents' individual circumstances are sometimes at risk of being lost because of the scale of the challenge facing landlords.

The report provides important lessons and practical recommendations that are within landlords' control.

The three key actions in the report are for landlords to:

The report is based on complaints handled by the Ombudsman between October 2019 and March 2021.

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Housing Ombudsman uses its new power to progress residents' complaints

Posted 11.05.21
Housing Ombudsman Service: Further reading

The Housing Ombudsman Service has published its first report setting out how it has used its new power to issue complaint handling failure orders.

The Ombudsman issued 10 orders between January and March 2021 - mostly due to unreasonable delays by landlords in accepting or progressing residents' complaints through their process.

The report, which names the landlords concerned, shows that 8 out of the 10 orders were complied with.

In two cases the landlords did not comply. Both these complaints were taken into formal investigation by the Ombudsman. Case studies illustrate how the orders work and their impact, including some resident feedback.

The purpose of complaint handling failure orders is to ensure that a landlord's complaint handling process is accessible, consistent and enables the timely progression of complaints for residents.

The new power formed part of the revisions to the Housing Ombudsman Scheme that came into force last year, which also included the Ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code. It sets out clear expectations for landlords on handling housing complaints.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: "Our Code sets clear expectations for efficient, effective and accessible complaint handling and we issue orders where landlords fail to meet them.

"These orders can now be made whilst the complaint is still within the landlord's procedure. In most cases where we issued handling failure orders, the landlord responded well and sought to resolve the complaint.

"However, it is disappointing that in two cases landlords did not comply, and we have taken these complaints into formal investigation."

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