Case Study 45: Complaint Handling - Locally Resolved with Intervention

Ms M’s complaint was about the level of compensation offered by the landlord in recognition of its delays in dealing with her formal complaint relating to decent homes works.

Ms M’s initial complaint to her landlord had been about the inconvenience caused by decent homes works that were carried out to neighbouring properties between July and December 2012. She had also complained about damage caused to the communal garden due to the contractors carrying out the works.  The complaint was upheld by the landlord and Ms M accepted an offer of compensation.

Ms M later contacted the Ombudsman confirming that she had received the cheque but wanted to pursue a further complaint about how her complaint had been dealt with by the landlord. This was because when she had first contacted it to make a formal complaint about the handling of the works she had been told to contact the contractors directly.  Ms M had done so but noted that her concerns were not being addressed and that she was passed around various members of staff. Ms M provided e-mails to the Ombudsman which confirmed that she had tried to make a formal complaint at the time. Following our intervention, the landlord registered a formal complaint about how it had handled Ms M’s complaint. It acknowledged delays in respect of this and offered compensation of £120.  Ms M disputed this amount due to the landlord taking the date the Ombudsman contacted it as the start of her complaint when in fact she first raised her concerns in 2012.

We decided that there was still scope for the complaint to be resolved at a local level between the landlord and Ms M.  We therefore asked the landlord to consider its position further. We explained  that we did not expect it to automatically increase the compensation amount, but we asked it to review the offer made in light of the evidence provided and suggested that it should provide an explanation regarding its decision.

The landlord took the opportunity to further consider the complaint and the evidence that had been provided. On the basis of this, it decided that it would be appropriate to increase its previous offer, to a total of £250. Ms M confirmed that she was satisfied with this as a resolution to her complaint and the case was closed.  

In this case our intervention resulted in the landlord considering its position further and increasing its offer of compensation once it had reviewed the evidence available to it. This resulted in a fair outcome for Ms M who was satisfied that the landlord had taken all the circumstances into account when reaching a decision on her complaint.