Housing Ombudsman reports increasing complaints

Richard Blakeway

The Housing Ombudsman’s latest Insight report covering July to September 2021 shows an 83% increase in the volume of enquiries and complaints received compared to the same quarter in 2020. The service received 6,595 enquiries and complaints between July and September.  

The report also provides data for Greater London, the region where the Ombudsman receives some of the highest complaint volumes. The case studies featured have been selected from cases across the region and reflect the most frequent complaint categories – property condition, complaint handling and anti-social behaviour. 

The Ombudsman’s learning highlights the role of mediation services, particularly in relation to noise related complaints, and how landlords could use these independent professional experts at an earlier stage to increase resident engagement with the process.  

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “Our Insight reports have an important role in sharing the lessons we’ve drawn from the casework across our member landlords. As well as use of mediation services, this issue emphasises the importance of landlords having clear complaints policies and ensuring that staff follow the policies in place.   

“One case includes reports of damp and mould and shows how the resident was impacted by delays in dealing with the issue. Last month we published our Spotlight report stating that addressing damp and mould needs to be a higher priority for landlords. In this case we found the landlord had not recognised the impact of living in a property with a longstanding leak and ordered it to pay £2,000 in compensation.”  

The quarterly Insight reports provide insight on the Ombudsman’s complaints data, a selection of case studies and key learning points. It is part of its continuing progress towards being a more open and transparent service and promoting positive change by sharing knowledge and learning from its casework.  

The report will feature in two upcoming Meet the Ombudsman events being hosted by the London Borough of Waltham Forest for Greater London and CHP housing association for the East of England. The events are part of increasing engagement with residents to help raise awareness and understanding of the service.   

Landlords can register an interest in hosting a Meet the Ombudsman event by email to Insightreport@housing-ombudsman.org.uk 

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