The Housing Ombudsman’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-19, published today, shows strong performance throughout the year at the same time as dealing with significant increases in demand.
The biggest increase was for cases coming into our formal remit for investigation after completing the landlord’s complaints procedure. The number of cases increased by 26% from 1,763 in 2017-18 to 2,217 in 2018-19, the largest increase in a single year since 2013-14 when our remit expanded to include local authorities.
Enquiries increased by 14% from 7,639 in 2017-18 to 8,671 in 2018-19 and complaints went up by 12% from 6,806 to 7,623.
Over the year the average case time for determinations reduced from 8 months to 6.7 months and was 5.9 months in the last quarter of the year, providing a strong basis for achieving the target of a six-month average in 2019-20. The percentage determined within 12 months was 99.8% against a target of 98%.
Responsive repairs continues to be the largest category of complaint we receive at 39% of the overall number, similar to the previous year at 37%.
Other developments in 2018-19 included:
- Publishing our first ‘spotlight on’ report looking at repairs complaints and advising landlords on how to learn from them to deliver a better customer service
- Issuing the first special report on non-compliance with an order
- Increasing the range of online tools to improve landlords’ and residents’ understanding of how to resolve disputes such as free online training and new videos
- Preparing and consulting on our corporate plan for 2019-22 with an overarching theme of ‘Making a difference’.
Andrea Keenoy, Interim Housing Ombudsman, said: “We have made great strides over the year in improving and developing our service, despite a substantial increase in case volumes. We have also succeeded in maintaining our positive customer feedback. Our new three-year corporate plan will help us tackle the relentless rises in demand by increasing our internal efficiency but also working with others so that more complaints can be resolved within landlords’ complaints procedures at a local level without the need to come to us.”