Annual report 2021-22 published

23 February 2023

The Housing Ombudsman’s Annual Report for 2021-22 has been published, showing an unprecedented increase in complaints and enquiries received.

The Housing Ombudsman made 4,569 orders and recommendations to put things right and improve residents’ lives in 2021-22, states its Annual Report and Accounts published today.

The report shows an unprecedented increase in complaints and enquiries received by the service at 26,771 up from 16,337 in 2020-21. The volume of requests for formal investigations increased by nearly 80% compared to the prior year and the total volume of enquiries and complaints closed by the service increased by 64%.

The key data highlights from the report are:

  • 48% of cases determined by the Ombudsman were upheld
  • High levels of compliance with Ombudsman orders at 99% within three months
  • Of the 101 Complaint Handling Failure Orders issued, 76 related to landlords failing to progress a complaint through their complaints procedure in a timely basis
  • 30 severe maladministration findings issued of which 11 related to poor complaint handling and 13 for damp and mould
  • The 4,569 orders and recommendations issued were made up of 2,734 orders and 1,835 recommendations
  • Landlords were ordered to pay compensation to residents totalling £619k across the year.

During the year we continued to proactively promote positive change in the sector through our new powers under the scheme, including the use of our systemic powers to investigate sector-wide challenges in our spotlight reports on cladding, managing agents and, notably, damp and mould. These reports have been accessed more than 7,000 times from our website and more than 2,300 people participated in our events.

We also published our first annual review of complaints in 2021-22 and it was our first full year issuing Complaint Handling Failure Orders, where landlords have failed to handle the complaint in line with our Complaint Handling Code.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: ‘We are making significantly more orders to put things right and recommendations to improve services following our investigations.

“This comes at a time of heightened demand and pressure on our service and highlights room for sector wide learning to strengthen landlord-resident relationships.

“We are moving into a phase of significant expansion to support the current surge in casework levels, which we anticipate will continue through increased awareness and improved access to our service.”