This report draws on several real-life experiences, but a single resident’s story forms its backbone. It involves the loss of heating and hot water during more than a year and provides several, powerful lessons for landlords who want to ensure an effective response when a managing agent is involved.
This report also focuses on landlord engagement with third party freeholders and managing agents who sit outside of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme. Of course, social landlords may appoint or act as an agent themselves. It would be an illusion to conclude there are not issues here, as demonstrated by a severe maladministration decision where a vulnerable resident was placed in unsuitable temporary accommodation. While this aspect of landlords’ activities is outside the scope of this report, some of its lessons may be transferable.
In this report the Ombudsman explored:
- Whether landlords are put, by themselves or others, in a weaker position when it comes to complaint resolution, service quality and discharging their statutory and contractual obligations through reduced autonomy or control.
- The degree of clarity that landlords, third party freeholders and managing agents, and residents have on their roles and responsibilities when dealing with service issues and complaints.
- Whether, in properties where their landlords needed to engage with third party freeholders and managing agents, residents are at an increased risk of receiving a lower standard of service.
- How landlords have navigated the additional complexity of engaging with third party freeholders and managing agents and how that contributes to findings of maladministration.
The full report
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