New Complaint Handling Code: Our new Code provides good practice for landlords on fair and effective complaint handling. See this page for details.

Annual Report 2019-20 published

3 September 2020

The Housing Ombudsman’s Annual Report for 2019-20 has been published today

Front cover of the annual report with photographs of housing

The Housing Ombudsman made 2,617 orders and recommendations to put things right and improve residents’ lives in 2019-20, states our Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20 published today.

Overall, the report shows strong performance against targets, including reaching the six-month target on determinations for the first time, and sets out how our service is changing.

The key data highlights from the report are:

  • The average determination rate for formal investigations was below the six month target at 5.8 months, the first time the target has been achieved
  • All cases were determined within 12 months, exceeding the target of 99%
  • Repairs continues to be the largest category of complaint received at 38% of the overall number
  • High levels of compliance with our orders at 95% within three months and 99% within six months, meeting the targets
  • The 2,617 orders and recommendations we issued were made up of 1,618 orders and 999 recommendations
  • Landlords were ordered to pay compensation to residents totalling £412,214.54 across the year.

We have been listening to residents and landlords about how the service works. Changes to the service started during the year focused on increasing efficiency, providing greater openness and accessibility, and promoting positive change in the sector. Revisions to the Housing Ombudsman Scheme are strengthening our powers and include a new Complaint Handling Code for greater consistency across landlords’ complaint procedures. A new series of Insight reports launched in the year help to promote positive change by sharing knowledge and learning from our casework.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “Following the hard work of my team, I am pleased to report that 2019-20 was a successful year in terms of our performance, the best performance against targets in recent times. We were able to quickly transition to effective remote working at the end of the year following the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to provide a full service. Our service will be even more important as we move forward and we remain committed to delivering our plans to expand and change the service, ensuring the Ombudsman is integral to a healthier housing system.”

During 2019-20, we continued to close more cases than the number received – 14,903 enquiries and complaints received and 15,832 closed. For the first time in three years, the number of determinations at 2,138 was higher than the number of cases in our formal remit at 1,981. On the cases determined, we found full or partial maladministration in 39%, an increase of 2% on the previous year.