Next Spotlight reports to focus on noise and managing agent relationships

5 January 2022

The Housing Ombudsman’s next two Spotlight reports for 2022 will examine learning from cases that involve social landlords’ engagement with managing agents, followed by an investigation into noise nuisance.

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The Housing Ombudsman’s next two Spotlight reports for 2022 will examine learning from cases that involve social landlords’ engagement with managing agents, followed by an investigation into noise nuisance. They are part of our ongoing series of Spotlight reports that use insight from the real-life experiences in our casework to share learning and drive improvements for the benefit of all residents.

The first of the reports, due to be published in the early part of this year, follows a number of cases where we have found maladministration about a landlord when a managing agent may be involved in the response to the resident’s issues. In these circumstances we consider the landlord to be responsible for the relationship with the resident and is responsible for working with other parties to resolve issues. The areas to be covered in the learning report are:

  • Repairs
  • Service charges
  • Cladding/building safety
  • Estate management
  • Heat networks.

Complaints about noise, often including anti-social behaviour, are a large proportion of our casework and increased significantly during the first Covid lockdown. Anti-social behaviour was the  second highest complaint category in 2020-21 at 15% of the total. The report, due to be published in the summer, will cover:

  • Noise caused by other residents
  • Noise from works, contractors or other external sources
  • Noise attributed to poor soundproofing or other building defects.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “Our work is rooted in the real-life experiences of residents and our objective is to ensure their complaints are treated fairly, and any lessons arising from them are taken seriously.

“Increasingly residents want the lessons from complaints to be shared and acted on. There is also a strong appetite from the sector to learn from complaints to improve services. Our next two Spotlight investigations will look at two areas which can lead to immense frustration for residents. Cases involving a managing agent can be complex in terms of establishing the nature of the relationship between the landlord and the managing agent and their relative responsibilities. This should not prevent residents getting their issue resolved or act as a barrier to redress.

“Anti-social behaviour is typically one of our highest areas of complaint. Noise can be a significant element but it is not the only reason we receive complaints about noise. Our reports will examine both areas carefully from our unique and independent perspective, identifying key areas for improvement and making practical recommendations.”

Our Spotlight reports put the spotlight on issues identified through the complaints we have investigated and resolved. Most recently, reports have looked at damp and mould, cladding complaints and heating and hot water. All reports are published on the website.

 

 

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