Government names and shames three failing social landlords

Government names and shames three failing social landlords

0:01 AM, 29th December 2022, About A year ago 4

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The government has named and shamed three more failing social landlords – with Michael Gove urging lawyers to direct tenants to the Housing Ombudsman to save them time and money.

Mr Gove is now demanding answers and action from Orbit Housing, Lambeth Council and Birmingham City Council after the Ombudsman found severe maladministration in their handling of complaints.

It brings the total number of landlords that have been publicly criticised by the Housing Secretary this year for poor performance to 14.

And the total amount of compensation that sub-standard social landlords have been ordered to pay to social housing tenants by the Ombudsman, in 2022-23 to date, is more than £574,000.

Ombudsman should be the first route for reporting complaints

Mr Gove has written to the Law Society, Citizens Advice and Housing Law Practitioners Association to urge solicitors to tell social housing tenants that the Ombudsman should be the first route for reporting complaints with their landlord.

He adds that it is unacceptable for landlords to let legal proceedings get in the way of repairs.

The government says that while lawyers will always have a crucial role representing tenants in legal proceedings, the Ombudsman services are free to use.

Plus, renters can bring complaints directly themselves, potentially avoiding lengthy and costly legal proceedings.

‘Letting people suffer in disgraceful conditions’

The Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, said: “Each of these landlords have failed their tenants, letting people suffer in disgraceful conditions while refusing to listen to complaints or treat them with respect.

“Housing providers will have nowhere to hide once our Social Housing Bill becomes law early next year.

“A beefed-up Regulator will have the power to enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice and make emergency repairs with landlords footing the bill.”

‘Social housing tenants with complaints’

He added: “I’m urging everyone offering advice, from solicitors to voluntary organisations, to always direct social housing tenants with complaints to the Housing Ombudsman.

“Every tenant deserves a decent home, and landlords must not use legal cases as an excuse to delay making repairs or act on complaints.”

Orbit Housing was ordered to pay a resident £5,000 after damp and mould issues went untreated, while Birmingham City Council – which has received its second letter of 2022 – failed to respond to a resident’s complaints of boiler faults and rotten floorboards in the living room.

In Lambeth, the council did not repair damaged windows in a fifth-floor flat that fell out of their frames onto the ground below, leaving a resident with boarded up windows during winter, causing mould which damaged their possessions.

Faced severe maladministration findings from the Ombudsman

The social landlords follow 11 other providers that have faced severe maladministration findings from the Ombudsman.

Including Clarion – which has received four this year – who did not repair a tenant’s leaking room with rainwater leaking down walls and cracks in every room, there was Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing who failed to resolve an infestation of silverfish.

Johnnie Johnson Housing had to pay £1,800 compensation after a resident suffered verbal abuse, threats and intimidation at the hands of his neighbours.

London Borough of Hackney, Housing Plus Group (which was Stafford Rural homes), Habinteg Housing, Shepherd’s Bush Housing, Southern Housing, Onward Homes, Catalyst and PA Housing are the others to have been criticised.

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Contended Ted

19:07 PM, 31st December 2022, About A year ago

Anyone care to name and shame failing MPs? Gove is reputedly clever but he is a chocolate teapot among MPs.

Rajeev Kanwar

15:37 PM, 1st January 2023, About A year ago

Its no good trying to be big and shame some landlords? What the government should do is to fine these Landlords thousands of pounds , and stop them renting their property as a severe warning to other landlords . But the government also should name and shame their ministers who have cheated and lied and should kick them out of government, with no further payments to them ??!! This way the public would be happy !! But no theyre just as bad as the bad landlords. We need a strong honest and trustworthy government to help and support this country not cheats and liars , who are being rewarded by this daft government!!!

Freda Blogs

11:23 AM, 3rd January 2023, About A year ago

Giles Peaker of Nearly Legal rebukes Michael Gove re his advice to direct complaints to the Housing Ombudsman and explains why this is a very bad idea.
I don't always agree with GP, but this is an interesting article and covers other current issues relevant to landlords and is worth a read.

Reluctant Landlord

17:36 PM, 3rd January 2023, About A year ago

all a load of waffle and hot air - Gove just wants to secure his post and to be seen to be shouting out bad social LL's. If he were serious - there would be significant fines being issued to back this up.

The reality (and we all know it to be true, politicians, tenants and public alike) that EVERY council has bad housing and there isn't the money to make them all perfect, all of the time.

There will always be a case that hits the news, everyone gets ruffled, Ministers go into attack mode and spout how terrible it is....but then it all dies down until the next time....

If you are a council/social tenant you are at the lower end of the housing 'system', so are at mercy of large normally disfunctional councils/HA to get repairs done (or moreover their sub contractors). They simply don't don't run their 'business' like a capitalist (or realist) would and employees have no personal interest in doing a job well or not. Those in Management have huge salaries and great stonking pensions and bonuses. What do they care about really? Money is not properly used. Its misspent.
In addition..
They have budgets and are restricted.
They have now been told any rent increase is being capped.
They are being told at the same time to build more property with higher standards AND upgrade existing stock - yet who funds this?
There are limited trades in this country and availability is decreasing not increasing so costs only going upward. More subbies are moving away from working with Councils/HA's as their contracts are making no money.
Developers often have to build social housing into their private home plans just to get planning requirements passed, but at present no-one is buying new houses . Developers work on the basis of a quick build and sale turnaround. They don't want empty houses sitting there.
Lower down the chain builders can't commit to a project as material supply and price is constantly shifting.

No one has a solution to all this - just a jumped up politician raises the issue every so often so we all know he's still around and 'fighting the cause'. All a load of Bull!

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