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Nottingham City Homes (202010127)

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REPORT

COMPLAINT 202010127

Nottingham City Homes

15 April 2021


Our approach

What we can and cannot consider is called the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction and is governed by the Housing Ombudsman Scheme. The Ombudsman must determine whether a complaint comes within their jurisdiction. The Ombudsman seeks to resolve disputes wherever possible but cannot investigate complaints that fall outside of this. 

In deciding whether a complaint falls within their jurisdiction, the Ombudsman will carefully consider all the evidence provided by the parties and the circumstances of the case.

The complaint

  1. The complaint concerns the landlord’s handing of the resident’s rehousing application.

Determination (jurisdictional decision)

  1. When a complaint is brought to the Ombudsman, we must consider all the circumstances of the case as there are sometimes reasons why a complaint will not be investigated.
  2. After carefully considering all the evidence, I have determined that the complaint, as set out above, is not within the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.

Summary of events

  1. The resident contacted the Service on the 8 December 2020. The resident explained they live in a one-bedroom property with their partner. The resident advised their partner has two children and they share custody of the children. The resident explained they are overcrowded as when the children stay with them, they have to sleep on the living room floor.
  2. The resident made a complaint as the landlord advised they would not be able to progress the resident’s rehousing application as the resident did not have documentation indicating that they had joint custody of the children. In a letter to the resident, dated 26 August 2020, the landlord advised that based on their assessment, the resident was adequately housed. The landlord confirmed they could only consider children on an application, ‘if the parent/guardian is in receipt of CHB or has custody as instructed by the court’.
  3. In a call to the Service on the 12 March 2021, the resident advised that they believed the policy penalised parents who had arranged custody outside of the courts.
  4. Following enquiries made by the Service, on the 25 March 2021 the landlord confirmed that Nottingham City Homes manage the Housing Register on behalf of Nottingham City Council. The landlord confirmed that the resident’s application to join the register was refused as, ‘the policy states that in terms of eligibility to apply for larger accommodation there has to be evidence that children must be residing at address as permanent residence’.
  5. On the 26 March 2021, the landlord confirmed that the resident’s complaint would be escalated to Stage 2 of the landlord’s complaints process.

Reasons

  1. Paragraph 39m of the Scheme states that…

‘The Ombudsman will not investigate complaints which, in the Ombudsman’s opinion, fall properly within the jurisdiction of another Ombudsman, regulator or complaint-handling body;’

  1. The resident confirmed on the 12 March 2021 that the complaint concerns the landlord’s assessment of their housing need. The landlord confirmed on the 25 March 2021 that this assessment was undertaken on behalf of the Local Authority in accordance with the Council’s allocation policy.
  2. The complaint concerns the assessment of the resident’s housing needs which was undertaken on behalf of the Local Authority in accordance with its allocation policy. Complaints about a local authority fall within the jurisdiction of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO). The Ombudsman will not investigate complaints that fall within the jurisdiction of another Ombudsman.
  3. If the resident wishes to pursue the matter further, they can contact the LGSCO at:
    1. Home – Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
    2. 0300 061 0614