Landlords can now complete the Complaint Handling Code Annual Submissions form. More information is available online.

Spotlight reports

What are Spotlight reports?

Housing Ombudsman Spotlight reports are designed to focus on an area of landlord service provision where we see a high amount of failure through our casework.

The reports set out to investigate if there is a theme in the complaint issues and set out learning and recommendations for landlords to avoid further complaints or service failure, and to let residents know more about their rights.  

Attitudes, respect and rights

Hands holding various cartoon faces, some smiling some unhappy

Spotlight on attitudes, respect and rights – relationship of equals

Central to this report is what it means to be vulnerable in social housing today, but also most importantly, how landlords can respond effectively and how to do so without stigma or marginalisation. 

View the full report (opens in a new tab)

Knowledge and Information Management (KIM)

hands moving cogs into place

Spotlight report on Knowledge and Information Management (KIM)

The complexities of this housing crisis require modern and agile services. But this report reveals how landlord’s services can be held back by weaknesses in data and information, that can turn an ordinary service request into an extraordinarily protracted complaint.

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Damp and mould

Photograph of mould around window

Spotlight report on damp and mould – it’s not a lifestyle

Damp and mould can be a complex and often frustrating issue. We recognise that some landlords are being proactive and that governing bodies are scrutinising approaches. This report aims to support these actions.

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Concept creative idea, solution and innovation. Hand picked wooden cube block with light bulb icon

Follow up: Spotlight on damp and mould – it’s not lifestyle

Following the inquest into Awaab Ishak, the Ombudsman wrote an open letter to all landlords to reinforce the recommendations that were made in the Spotlight on damp and mould report.

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Noise complaints

An aerial view of rows of back to back terraced houses in a working class area of a Northern town in England

Spotlight report on noise complaints – time to be heard

At the heart of our findings in this report is a fundamental unfairness: most noise reports concern household noise rather than anti-social behaviour (ASB), and yet most landlords handle it under their ASB policy.

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A ladder leading to a lightbulb on a bright yellow background

Follow up report: Spotlight on noise complaints – Time to be Heard

This follow-up report summarises our evaluation of our Spotlight on noise complaints, Time to be Heard, which we published in October 2022.

We contacted landlords who had attended our initial webinar and all landlords who had featured in the report.

View the evaluation report (opens in a new tab)

Landlords’ engagement with private freeholders and managing agents

People figures with comment clouds above their heads. Social communication. Information exchange. Rumors and gossip. Talk and chat. Discussion and dialogue. Public opinion poll. Dispute settling

Spotlight report on landlords’ engagement with private freeholders and managing agents

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. 

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Dealing with cladding complaints

An external image of a block of flats

Spotlight report on dealing with cladding complaints

Following on from publishing guidance setting out our approach for considering what is fair in all the circumstances on cladding-related disputes, this report builds on the Ombudsman’s approach.

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Complaints about heating, hot water and energy

A man hands in wool gloves warm near the heater. Old men's hands in knitted gloves on heating radiator at home during the day. Person heating their hands at home over a domestic radiator in winter.

Spotlight report on complaints about heating, hot water and energy in social housing

Living in a warm, safe and decent home is a fundamental need and critical to our health and well-being. But when there is a loss of heating or hot water at home, the impact is significant on the household. This is especially the case where young children, elderly or vulnerable residents are concerned. This report offers lessons for all social landlords following more than 200 investigations. 

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Leasehold, shared ownership and new builds

Tenancy agreement signing

Spotlight report on leasehold, shared ownership and new builds – complexity and complaint handling

This report brings together insight from handling almost 2,000 complaints received from leaseholders and shared owners between 2018 and 2020. This includes more than 800 formal investigations. For the first time in a report, the Ombudsman provided information about individual landlords. 

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Complaints about repairs

Set of manual house tools on a wooden table.They surround a handmade wood house toy.

Spotlight report on complaints about repairs

Delivering a good repairs service should be a high priority for landlords. However, dissatisfaction with day-to day repairs consistently accounts for over a third of the complaints made to the Housing Ombudsman each year. 

View the full report (opens in a new tab)