Our new statutory Complaint Handling Code comes into effect from 1 April 2024 - find out more.

Our orders

This key topic page explores the variety of orders that we can make to put things right such as compensation, ordering a repair to be undertaken or a survey to be completed, as well as apologies and reviews of policy. 

What are our orders?

Where we have made a finding of service failure, maladministration, or severe maladministration, we can order a landlord to implement the remedies we have identified for that case.  

We aim to provide fair and proportionate remedies to complaints appropriate to each case's circumstances. This includes ensuring that the order we propose is proportionate to the severity of the maladministration we found during our investigation. 

We can make a variety of orders to put things right such as compensation, ordering a repair to be undertaken or a survey to be completed, as well as apologies and reviews of policy. 

These orders are legally binding, meaning that if a landlord does not comply, we can force them to do so via court action. However, the compliance rate with our orders is 100%. 

Podcast with the Centre for Learning

In conversation with dispute resolution on responding to orders

Season 4 Episode 3 - February 2024

During this podcast, we look at 2 cases involving noise complaints exploring the orders and recommendations made and what the landlord did to put things right.

Listen to the podcast (opens in a new tab)

Remedies

A remedy is how the Ombudsman ensures that matters are put right after we investigate a case. 

This guidance should be read alongside our Investigations Guidance pdf, Guidance on Outcomes pdf, and Guidance on complaints involving insurance issues pdf.

Remedies guidance

This guidance is intended for use by Housing Ombudsman Service staff, our member landlords, residents and their representatives. It looks at what a remedy is, the key considerations for remedies nd what remedies we can and cannot make.

Read the guidance pdf (opens in a new tab)

Remedies: Offsetting and the Ombudsman’s approach

View our guidance on offsetting and the Ombudsman’s approach including legal considerations and our approach to complaint handling. 

Read the guidance (opens in a new tab)

Compensation

There are 2 types of compensation:   

  • payments that the landlord is obliged to make - usually due to legal requirements  
  • discretionary compensation - which is a payment the landlord chooses to make  

View the compensation policy

Compensation payments ordered by the Ombudsman

Compensation will not be appropriate in every case. We will only order a landlord to pay compensation if we find evidence of service failure or maladministration that has not been put right. In addition, we must be satisfied that compensation is the most appropriate action that will put things right in the circumstances of the complaint.  

All compensation calculations are based on what is considered fair in the circumstances of the case. We can order a landlord to pay compensation for:  

  • actual, proven financial loss sustained as a direct result of the maladministration or service failure  
  • avoidable inconvenience, distress, detriment or other unfair impact of the maladministration or service failure 
Find out more (opens in a new tab)

Compensation required by law

Local authority or housing association residents may be entitled to compensation from your landlord if you’ve been affected by: 

  • home loss 
  • disturbance 
  • improvements 
  • Right to Repair  
  • payment for damage to your property/belongings 
  • discretionary compensation 
Find out more (opens in a new tab)

Apologies

An apology is an opportunity to restore trust and begin to mend a resident and landlord relationship. A well-made apology is an important and powerful tool in resolving a complaint early.  

Apologies guidance for landlords

This guide will help you decide what to include in your apology, whether it should be written or in person, and who should give it. 

View the guidance (opens in a new tab)

Responding to a complaint guidance

We have developed guidance for landlords when investigating and responding to complaints through their complaint's procedure. View our guide to see the issues we expect landlords to consider when responding to a complaint. 

Read the guidance (opens in a new tab)

Wider orders

We have gained considerable new powers under the Social Housing Regulation Act. We are now able to order a landlord to evaluate a particular policy or practice to prevent service failure being repeated. Previously, these types of orders would have only been recommendations, which the landlord was not duty bound to act upon.

Important documents in files placed in the filing cabinet

Revised Scheme to extend fairness to all residents beyond individual complaints

The expanded authority enables us to require landlords to go beyond the scope of individual complaints and seek to address any wider issues.

This will also help us to monitor compliance with the orders as it can be more prescriptive in what we want to see in certain policy reviews and who we might want involved.

Find out more (opens in a new tab)

Landlords Learning Hub

Centre for Learning online platform

Explore our NEW learning tool - the Landlord Learning Hub.

Log in and discover the training options available to you.

If you have not logged into the new Hub, you will need to set up an account to gain access to a range of learning materials.

Create an account (opens in a new tab)

Resident information

When to use the Housing Ombudsman Service 

If you are unable to resolve the complaint with your landlord directly via its complaint procedure, this service may be able to provide you with further assistance.  

View the residents' pages to find out how to raise and complaint to your landlord and when to escalate your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service. 

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