We have published details of more than 350 individual decisions since March 2021 when we started publishing reports on all cases investigated. A major step in increasing our transparency, the decisions provide an ever-expanding resource to promote learning, fairness and accountability in the sector and demonstrate the difference complaints can make for individual residents and wider benefit.
Cases published to date cover a range of issues the Ombudsman can consider from repairs and anti-social behaviour to complaint handling as well as the type of outcomes following an investigation. Alongside findings of maladministration, this includes where we have has found no maladministration or where something has gone wrong but we believe the redress provided by the landlord was appropriate. New decisions are published every two weeks and the landlord in each case is identified.
Featured among the latest decisions to be published are:
- A case about Clarion (ref 202000800) where it failed to respond to a resident’s reports of noise in an appropriate and reasonable manner or in accordance with its anti-social behaviour policy. We found maladministration and ordered the landlord to put together a detailed action plan with timescales to deal with ongoing issues as well as paying compensation to the resident.
- A complaint about various repairs issues where we found that South Tyneside Homes (ref 201908131) had delayed in completing some of the works causing stress and inconvenience to the resident. We found partial maladministration and ordered £500 compensation together with a recommendation to review how the landlord records repairs.
- A finding of maladministration where a resident of Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ref 201816716) had to repeatedly chase the landlord for a response to reports of a leak into her property over a period of two years while the problem with water damage continued. We found there had been a significant initial delay in addressing the repair due to poor record keeping and poor communication and ordered the landlord to pay the resident a total amount of £1,250.
- A finding of service failure by Hexagon Housing Association (ref 201914551) for its management of repairs as the majority of repairs were outstanding more than 18 months after the resident submitted the complaint. It also failed to respond to the complaint within a reasonable timeframe. We ordered the landlord to complete the repairs, pay the resident compensation and recommended that it report to its management board highlighting planned improvements to its response to residents in similar situations.
Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “We’ve been publishing decisions for over three months, providing a rich source of learning for landlords and a key part of our commitment to being open and transparent. As our online casebook grows, it promotes fairness, accountability and the difference complaints can make.
“Several of the cases highlighted cover periods during Covid-19 and relate to issues where we continue to see challenges in complaint handling, such as responding to repairs or noise issues. As steps are made towards removing restrictions, handling complaints effectively is essential, and we hope sharing the learning from our casebook will support these efforts.
“I would encourage landlords to regularly use our decisions to help improve services and complaint handling. It also helps residents in understanding the issues we can consider and the decisions we make.”
Decisions are published three months after the decision date. Details of what, when and how we publish are set out in our publication policy. As well as decisions we also publish performance data reports on individual landlords as part of our increasing transparency.