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Housing Ombudsman publishes Special Report on the London Borough of Lambeth’s complaint handling

The Housing Ombudsman has published a Special Report on the London Borough of Lambeth’s complaint handling, as a result of the volume and frequency of complaint handling failure orders issued and a series of formal investigations.

Complaint handling failure orders are issued to landlords where they fail to progress complaints through their procedures or to provide information to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman issued five complaint handling failure orders to Lambeth between January and September 2021, three of which it did not comply with.  The Ombudsman consequently contacted Lambeth to explore the issues impacting on its complaint handling and agreed an action plan with the landlord to progress the complaints.

In November 2021 the Ombudsman issued nine formal decisions to Lambeth which were progressed together, in order to identify any systemic learning. Three themes were identified across the cases: poor record keeping, significant delays or failing to respond to complaints and failings in responding to repairs.  The Ombudsman often identifies issues in those areas and therefore hopes that this report will provide learning for all social landlords.