CASE STUDY

Delayed roof works

Investigation finds service failure in the landlord’s offer of compensation for failings in its management of roof replacement works

Mr J, a tenant, complained that the landlord had not sought appropriate planning permission before starting roof replacement works, and this had resulted in poorly managed and delayed works.

The landlord confirmed through its complaints procedure that it had failed to obtain the required planning permission and this had resulted in a nine-month delay in the works. During this time, the property had only a temporary plastic roof covering. The landlord apologised to Mr J and offered £100 compensation for the inconvenience caused. It also directed him to submit an insurance claim for items which had been damaged by water getting into the loft space, and carried out works to remedy damp in this area.

Following conclusion of the landlord’s complaints procedure, Mr J brought his complaint to the Ombudsman. We considered the landlord’s repair obligations under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act and the commitments made by the landlord in its repairs policy. We also considered the landlord’s compensation policy, which gave the landlord discretion in deciding upon levels of compensation.

Outcome:

We found that the landlord had appropriately recognised what had gone wrong in its handling of the roof repair works, and it had correctly advised Mr J to submit an insurance claim for damaged belongings in the loft space.

We also found, however, that the landlord had not appropriately exercised its discretion when arriving at the offer of £100 compensation. It was not proportionate to the distress and inconvenience caused to Mr J. We determined that there had been service failure and ordered the landlord to pay Mr J additional compensation of £350.