Social housing landlord slammed for mushrooms growing in a mouldy bedroom

Social housing landlord slammed for mushrooms growing in a mouldy bedroom

0:06 AM, 20th March 2024, About 2 months ago 3

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The Housing Ombudsman has severely criticised social landlord Guinness Partnership for failing to fix problems in tenants’ homes – including a child having to live in mould for three years.

Another resident had to put up with mushrooms growing in their mould-ridden bedroom.

This is the second case this week which has seen the Housing Ombudsman criticise a social landlord for poor delivery of service.

The Ombudsman also says that tenants had to live in damp and mould and others had faulty doors for years.

‘Poor condition of some homes dominates our casework’

Richard Blakeway, the Housing Ombudsman, said: “The poor condition of some homes dominates our casework, and these cases speak to many of the failings and missed opportunities we see.

“This includes inspections not carried out early enough or no repairs actioned afterwards, poor record keeping, as well as respecting the resident by communicating or updating them.

“Particularly concerning is that many of the issues we investigated in these cases were ongoing at the point of our decision, despite the landlord knowing that some repairs were incomplete.”

He added: “Our orders mean that appropriate actions have been taken and residents are now living in more habitable homes.

“But this is another example of the landlord missing opportunities to put things right.”

Ombudsman found ‘severe maladministration’ by Guinness

In four separate cases, the Ombudsman found ‘severe maladministration’ by Guinness, including the case of the child being forced to live for three years in a bedroom with mould.

The Ombudsman ordered the landlord to pay £14,880 in compensation to the tenants affected and carry out repairs in all four properties.

In another case, it took the landlord 21 months to fix a roof suffering from bird infestation, leaving the property damp and cold.

Another case involved a family living with a leak and associated fungi growth in a bedroom for a long time.

The fourth case was for a complaint that the Ombudsman had previously dealt with 14 months ago, but the landlord hadn’t fixed.

The Ombudsman also criticised Guinness Partnership’s complaint handling, finding delays, a lack of communication and failures to follow proper procedures.

‘We have made significant improvements to our services’

In a statement, Guinness Partnership said: “We have made significant improvements to our services since these issues arose in 2021.

“The service these four residents received was not good enough, and we are very sorry for letting them down.

“We have apologised to the residents for the impact our failings had on them and their families.

“We promote a positive complaint handling culture, and we aim to learn from every complaint to improve how we do things.”

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10:23 AM, 20th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Does it never occur to these tenants to clean anything themselves?? I remember as a student in a student house having a bit of mould starting to grow in the shower room - yes we were idiots and never considered ventilation - and just wiped it away with a bit of bleach on a sponge. It didn't occur to me to just leave it to grow and become a problem.

PETER harvey

10:32 AM, 20th March 2024, About 2 months ago

the authorities are quick off the mark if a private landlord is not fulfilling his obligations to a tenant but when it is housing associations and the councils they are severely lacking and are now facing heavy fines from the ombudsman - landlords are having to register with the councils and face checks but social housing providers ignore all the repairs and take years fixing problems.


Cider Drinker

10:44 AM, 20th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Roy at 20/03/2024 - 10:23
If they clean it away they won’t be able to make a claim.

Some social tenants are alcoholics and drug users. Rejected by private landlords who can actually vet their applicants, they end up being housed by those with a duty to provide housing, namely Local Authorities and Social Landlords. Often they will be happy to settle for the least desirable homes which they go on to trash.

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