Case Study 8: Complaint handling

Ms Z complained about her landlord’s response to her complaint about repairs to her property.

Ms Z initially complained in March 2013. However it was only acknowledged by the landlord six weeks later and it didn’t provide a response at all. In June Ms Z asked for her complaint to go to the next stage and that prompted the landlord to send its first detailed response, 3 months after Ms Z made her complaint, considerably exceeding its own 20 working day target.

Although the landlord did acknowledge her request to go to the second, review stage, it again failed to provide a response to the issues she raised. In October Ms Z contacted the Ombudsman for our help. After we contacted the landlord it eventually provided its final response in November, 8 months after Ms Z had originally complained about the delayed repairs.

The time taken by the landlord to respond to Ms Z’s complaint amounted to significant and unacceptable delay, which was unfair. The landlord had failed to carry out repairs to Ms Z’s property and its failure to handle her complaint appropriately meant that not only had it made an already frustrating situation worse but that it missed an opportunity to learn from its original mistakes.