Thursday, March 4, 2021
Real EstateUK

Slowest compliance with Housing Ombudsman orders revealed

landlords

The reports include figures on landlords’ performance in complying with orders served to them by the ombudsman following its investigations

Eight of the 10 social housing providers with the highest ‘maladministration rate’ following ombudsman investigations are based in London, according to analysis of landlord performance reports published by the complaints arbitration service.

In December, the Housing Ombudsman released data sheets on every landlord in its scheme for the first time, as part of a drive towards greater transparency.

The reports include figures on landlords’ performance in complying with orders served to them by the ombudsman following its investigations.

They provide data on the percentage of orders completed within three and six months of the target date set by the service.

According to Inside Housing’s research, Manchester City Council was the worst performer in the sector in 2019/20 as it only complied with 20% of orders inside of three months and complied with 80% inside of six months.

Dacorum Borough Council, Newham Council, St Albans Council and District Council and Corby Borough Council were the other landlords which performed worst at complying with orders inside of three months.

Newham Council shared ranks with Manchester for the lowest percentage of order complied with after six months at 80%. Gateway Housing Association, North Tyneside Council and Origin Housing were the other landlords with the lowest percentage for this metric, according to the performance reports.

North Tyneside Council is disputing its figures with the ombudsman.

Redbridge Council had the highest maladministration rate of any social landlord in England; it was subject to at least five investigations by the ombudsman in 2019/20.

In total, the ombudsman upheld residents’ complaints in 86% of cases following a formal probe.

Shepherds Bush Housing Group (SBHG) had the second highest maladministration rate with 83%, while Gateway was third with 80%.

Dacorum Council said the data “relates to one element of one case” where it paid compensation “immediately”.

However, it was “unable to reach a resolution with the complainant on the final element of the order relating to claim for costs”, with the tenant deciding to take legal action.

Corby Council said it has now implemented a new complaints procedure, training for customer service staff and a better customer satisfaction framework, meaning it is “now 100% compliant with these orders and committed to remaining at such standards”.

Gateway has also changed procedures “to ensure compliance within target”, while also “having worked with resident groups and implemented their recommendations on complaints handling”.

A spokesperson for Origin said: In one case we are sorry not to have met the timescale set by the ombudsman and we have tightened up our processes to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

North Tyneside Council said it believed it had complied with all orders in time and has asked the ombudsman to investigate a case which “may have been wrongly recorded as a late compliance because there was a 12-month delay in having that confirmed by the ombudsman”.

Matt Campion, chief executive of SBHG, said: Customer satisfaction is one of our most important business priorities and we have set ourselves tough corporate objectives for improving this. We are making progress on this journey, but recognise that sometimes our services have not been good enough and that residents have had cause for complaint.

He added: We have seen a substantial reduction in residents making complaints to the ombudsman with five referrals having been made this year.

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