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One Housing Group Limited (202126059)

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REPORT

COMPLAINT 202126059

One Housing Group Limited

5 July 2022


Our approach

Under our early resolution process, the Ombudsman works with the resident and landlord to explore the issues in dispute, identify the matters that remain outstanding and assist in reaching an agreed settlement.

The complaint

  1. The complaint concerns the landlord’s calculation of the resident’s rent increase.

Determination (decision)

  1. In accordance with paragraph 55 (c) of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme, the landlord has made an offer of redress, following the Ombudsman’s intervention which, in the Ombudsman’s opinion, resolves the complaint satisfactorily.

How the complaint was resolved

  1. In March 2021, the resident complained to the landlord about its calculation of their rent increase.
  2. The landlord issued its final response to the complaint on 22 April 2021. The landlord stated that the response it gave at stage 1 of the complaint’s procedure was unfortunately not correct. We advised you that the fair rent cap was exclusive of service charges which is incorrect. The fair rent cap for your home is £141.50 which should be inclusive of service charges and rent. It apologised for this and offered the resident £100.00 compensation as a good will gesture.
  3. On 25 February 2022, the resident advised this Service that they were not satisfied with the landlord’s response to their complaint and stated that in order for their complaint to be resolved:
  • The landlord should give an undertaking that in future it will not increase the resident’s rent over fair rent levels; and
  • That the landlord should increase the amount of compensation it has offered given reoccurring errors the landlord has made over several years with the rent increases, and the stress and inconvenience the resident reports experiencing getting the errors corrected.
  1. On 23 June 2022, the Ombudsman contacted the landlord about the possibility of reaching a mediated resolution to the resident’s complaint and explained the resolution they were seeking.
  2. On 30 June 2022, the landlord contacted the Ombudsman and agreed to the proposal that the complaint should be resolved by it increasing its offer of compensation from £100.00 to £250.00. The landlord also stated that “we are committed to not raising rent above the fair rent set by Valuation Office Agency (VOA). We are currently undertaking a review of the way in which we manage fair rents within our rent plan which is used to increase rents across a variety of rental portfolio’s. We aim to include some exception reports to those rents controlled by a VOA Fair Rent which should mitigate moving forward this issue re-occurring. We are also in the process of implementing a new Housing Management system called CX that is in its roll out phase.
  3. On 5 July 2022, we contacted the resident to discuss the landlord’s response to the mediation proposal, which they confirmed they were happy to accept as final resolution of their complaint.
  4. Paragraph 55 (c) of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme states that:
    1. “At any time, the Ombudsman may determine the investigation of a complaint immediately if satisfied that the member has made an offer of redress following the Ombudsman’s intervention which, in the Ombudsman’s opinion, resolves the complaint satisfactorily. This will result in a finding of ‘resolved with intervention’.”
  5. I am therefore satisfied, following the intervention of this Service, that the landlord has now taken actions to remedy the matters raised which resolve the complaint satisfactorily.

Recommendation

  1. The landlord should arrange payment of the increased compensation to the resident within four weeks of the date of this determination and provide confirmation of payment to this Service.
  2. The landlord should within four weeks of the date of this determination write to the resident confirming steps it shall take to address the issues relating to the complaint and provide a copy to this Service.

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