Whilst the Ombudsman knows that learning can be found where landlords get things wrong, there is plenty of lessons in good practice casework too. It comes as the Ombudsman looks to drive a positive complaints learning culture.
Amongst the decisions are:
- How Leeds City Council (202101194) responded effectively to an ASB complaint. The landlord promptly opened an ASB case file after the first report and inspected the alleged perpetrators home. During the investigation into the matter, the landlord worked with external agencies such as the Police whilst also using informal actions such as letter drops and interviews with neighbours. Importantly, the resident was also kept up to date throughout, showing that the landlord respected the resident and took their concerns seriously.
- A damp and mould case involving Aspire Housing (202017181), where the landlord managed the situation well. This case showed how the landlord took a methodical approach, by first arranging for a surveyor to inspect the home and windows, and subsequently carrying out relevant repairs highlighted that by inspection report. It then undertook a mould wash and ended the process by advising how the resident could reduce levels of condensation. This shows how landlords can fulfil repairs obligations and offer advise to residents respectfully without blame.
- How Town and Country Housing (202204916) responded well to a vulnerable residents’ concerns about a lift repair. After the resident raised his concerns, the landlord was clear in its communications about why it was being repaired and offered the resident options. This included the offer of a support worker and a temporary decant when that first offer was refused. Showing it took the residents concerns seriously, the landlord also scheduled for a fire consultant to arrange an emergency evacuation plan.
- A pest infestation case involving Incommunities (202209486) where it responded immediately and carried out regular inspections to ensure they had been eradicated. Related repairs were also carried out within policy timescales and it used its second stage complaint response to provide a reasonable response and apologise for failings in its stage one correspondence.
Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “Every month we share cases where we have found landlords responding well to complaints to provide learning across the sector.
“Often these cases demonstrate clear communication, effective records and swiftly putting things right where they have gone wrong. I encourage landlords to learn from these examples of good practice to help extend fairness across social housing.”