Coronavirus situation: Information for our customers (residents and landlords)

18 March 2020

We are currently operating as normal while we continue to carefully monitor the coronavirus situation, although postal services are very limited so there will be delays. We will keep our customers updated if circumstances change. This page includes information specifically for landlords – scroll down the page

We have been following government guidance on the coronavirus with the aim of protecting the safety of our colleagues as well as continuing to provide our service as usual.

We are currently operating as normal (other than dealing with post) as we have contingency plans in place which means:

  • The majority of our colleagues already have the facility to work from home and we are now doing this on a full-time basis.
  • You can still contact us through the usual routes:
  • However, our office at Canary Wharf is closed so please do not send post to the Exchange Tower address. We would strongly encourage customers to use email or the online complaint form rather than sending post to our PO Box address in Liverpool. As we are working remotely, our ability to receive and send post is very limited so there will be delays. We will not be able to deal with large bundles of documents by post.
  • Our meetings and events will take place virtually or be postponed.

We will keep the situation under review and if anything changes we will update our website. You can also follow us on Twitter – @housingombuds

 

Additional message for landlords in the Housing Ombudsman Scheme

Landlords’ complaint handling

We appreciate that landlords will be making their own arrangements concerning coronavirus and this may impact complaint handling. Where landlords are making changes, the Ombudsman requests that landlords keep us informed. Please advise us of the changes by email using info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk

If we are currently dealing with a complaint from one of your residents, more specific guidance is below.  

Timescales for information requests

While we generally expect landlords to meet our timescales for information requests in relation to formal investigations, we recognise this may not be possible for some landlords. We expect those landlords to notify us of changed circumstances and agree a timetable for providing information with the caseworker.

Orders

In response to some landlords operating a changed repairs service, the Ombudsman will give landlords flexibility to comply with non-urgent repairs during this period in any new orders issued. For cases already determined, where a landlord has compliance difficulties due to Covid-19 they should contact the caseworker to discuss.

Local resolution of complaints

We continue to support residents and landlords seeking the resolution of complaints that are within the landlord’s process, but will keep this under review as  circumstances change.

Telling residents about our service

As our ability to send and receive post is very limited, it would be helpful if landlords could strongly encourage their residents to contact us by phone, email or use the online complaint form on our website.