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Housing Ombudsman publishes severe maladministration finding for Birmingham City Council

The Housing Ombudsman has published a severe maladministration finding for Birmingham City Council, due to delays in repairing an extensive water leak that caused damage to the resident’s property. The Council also failed to offer any compensation for the distress and inconvenience caused to the resident, in contravention of the Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found:

  • severe maladministration for the Council’s handling of the resident’s reports about the leak and
  • maladministration for its handling of the formal complaint.

The Ombudsman also found that there was presenting evidence of service failure around complaint handling and compensation that may be indicative of a systemic failing.

The Ombudsman ordered the Council to:

  • apologise to the resident
  • pay £800 compensation for its poor handling of the reports about the leak and the formal complaint and
  • either arrange for the internal damage to the resident’s property to be repaired, or to refer her claim for the damage to the building insurer for assessment and pay any policy excess.

In addition, the Ombudsman recommended that the Council engage with the Ombudsman in conducting a further investigation into issues relating to complaint handling and compensation.