Case Study 48: Repairs and complaint handling – Formally Resolved - Maladministration

Ms C complained about how her landlord dealt with repairs to her property. She reported a crack in her ceiling, damp, mould and poor insulation. The landlord did not comply with its repairs timescales nor did it manage the repairs effectively, which led to Ms C making a formal complaint.

In its final response to Ms C’s complaint the landlord awarded £455 compensation and undertook to complete a number of outstanding repairs. However, over a year later the repairs had still not been completed and, although the landlord had eventually offered to ‘decant’ (move) Ms C temporarily so that the repairs could be completed, no suitable offer had been made.

We found that there was maladministration by the landlord. The landlord’s communication and record keeping was poor and the information it provided to Ms C was not always consistent.  There was also no evidence that the landlord assessed the household’s needs to ensure that the offer of alternative accommodation was suitable. 

We ordered the landlord to pay £1,005 compensation to Ms C, comprising £10 per week for delay in repairing a ceiling and £5 per week for the delay in completing external repairs. We also ordered the landlord to arrange for a surveyor to inspect and draft a report detailing the work needed and provide Ms C with a copy. Finally, we ordered the landlord to review the situation after four months and consider paying further compensation if the problems were not resolved.

We recommended that the landlord make a further offer of suitable decant accommodation to Ms C and provide her with clear details of the removal and storage costs that it would cover.

This case shows that, where a landlord does not learn from a complaint, we can make orders to ensure that it complies with its obligations.