Housing Ombudsman prepares for a surge in social housing tenant complaints

Housing Ombudsman prepares for a surge in social housing tenant complaints

0:05 AM, 13th March 2024, About 4 months ago

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The Housing Ombudsman has launched a consultation on its business plan following a record year of complaints.

Compared to the same period last year, the first nine months of 2023-24 saw a 91% increase in cases, a 72% maladministration rate (up from 59%) and £3.7 million awarded in compensation – compared to £1.1 million for the whole of 2022-23.

Extra resources will see the Ombudsman doubling the number of investigations being completed this year, compared to the previous year – equating to a determination being issued around every 20 minutes.

With the introduction of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act, the Ombudsman says its work will be ‘crucial’ for tenants to ensure that social housing landlords comply with its Complaint Handling Code.

‘Social housing is vital for residents and wider society’

Richard Blakeway, the Housing Ombudsman, said: “Social housing is vital for residents and wider society, and our work aims to help strengthen it, but it is evident from our casework and the volumes of complaints we are receiving how challenging the situation has become.

“With an ever-increasing volume of complaints, we are using this business plan to look at how we can drive more learning and improvements in complaint handling.”

He adds: “This would help landlords resolve more complaints within their own complaint processes – providing residents with earlier resolution and improving relationships between landlord and resident.

“With a range of new statutory powers this year, we are considering how we use these to improve landlords’ services and culture. “

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