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Ombudsman’s latest Insight report shares landlord’s good practice as upheld cases rise

15 December 2022

The Housing Ombudsman has used its latest Insight report to share good practice on a variety of cases, including how swift or timely action by landlords can impact complaint outcomes positively.

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We have published our latest Insight report covering July to September 2022, with a focus on sharing good practice and encouraging learning from landlords.

Despite the continued high number of complaints, with 6,557 enquiries and complaints received during this period, the report features several good practice cases relating to repairs. There is also a focus on Greater London in the report, the region with the highest complaints volume.

The report shows that we upheld 55% of cases, compared to 48% in the last quarter. The issues residents have complained about shows property condition remaining the biggest category, at 41% of all complaints. That is followed by residents’ concerns about their landlords handling of their complaint at 16%, and anti-social behaviour at 13%.

The case studies in this report provide an opportunity to share learning more widely across the sector. They involve landlords operating in the capital.

It includes one case the London Borough of Southwark acted within 24 hours of the resident’s report of a bathroom leak to complete repairs and treated it as an emergency despite a target date of three days.

In another case, the London Borough of Havering took timely action to address a resident’s concerns about a window vent causing a draught in their home. Despite the landlord finding no fault they explored suitable options to resolve the resident’s complaint and agreed to replace the window vents with a more suitable option.

Read the report

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “Our complaint volumes remain high following the unprecedented surge in the previous year, and continued concerns over the quality of social housing will continue to drive complaints.

“Learning from complaints is an essential part of a positive complaints culture. While learning from upheld cases is important, landlords can also learn from cases where we do not find fault because the landlord has responded reasonably to the resident. In this report we have included another four case studies concerning landlords where they have demonstrated good practice in dealing with complaints to share insights more widely across the sector.

“This is also a final opportunity to respond to our call for evidence on our next thematic report on record keeping. Complaint handlers within social landlords are invited to submit evidence which will help us make recommendations and share good practice that promote greater understanding of the importance of information and knowledge management.”

Further details on the call for evidence can be found here. The survey closes on 23 December 2022.

The series of quarterly Insight reports provide complaints data, a selection of case studies and key learning points. It is part of our continuing progress towards being a more open and transparent service and promoting positive change by sharing knowledge and learning from our casework.

The reports precede ‘Meet the Ombudsman’ events, hosted by member landlords in different parts of the country, which are an important part of raising awareness and understanding of the service among residents. The next event is planned in Greater London.

Landlords can register an interest in hosting a Meet the Ombudsman event by email to hossectordevelopment@housing-ombudsman.org.uk