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45 high risk cases leads Ombudsman to launch wider investigations into two large landlords

19 January 2023

The Housing Ombudsman has launched an investigation into L&Q and Haringey Council after persistent poor performance over damp and mould complaints.

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We have launched an investigation into two large landlords to see if damp and mould issues are indicative of wider failings at the organisations.

Using powers within our Scheme, we will produce a learning report for both landlords and make recommendations for service improvement.

L&Q featured in our 2021 damp and mould Spotlight report, with maladministration findings in 50% of its damp and mould cases.

The organisation also has 32 open cases with the Ombudsman that have been identified as high risk and involve complaints handling, the handling of damp, mould and leaks reports, or both issues.

We upheld nearly half of L&Q’s cases determined since 1 April 2021 where complaints handling or leaks, damp and mould formed part of the investigation and over a third of the remaining cases were acknowledged during the landlord’s complaint process to having been poorly handled by the landlord.

For Haringey Council, we have 13 open cases identified as high risk and involving leaks, damp and mould. Further, we have upheld more than three-quarters of cases determined since 1 April 2021 where leaks, damp and mould formed part of the investigation.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “After repeated failures in the past year by both of these landlords, we’ve seen a high number of cases concerning the landlords identified as high risk.

“Under the circumstances, I’ve asked my team to expedite these investigations.

“Other cases with us concern similar issues and may indicate a repeated failing. Conducting a further investigation, using our systemic powers under paragraph 49 of the Scheme to identify areas for both landlords to learn and improve, is therefore required.

“At the end of the monitoring period, we will publish a learning report highlighting any issues we have identified in the cases investigated and make recommendations to the landlords where appropriate.”