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Housing Ombudsman finds little improvement in Annual Complaints Review 2021-22

The Housing Ombudsman has published its Annual Complaints Review 2021-22.  The report states that there has been little improvement in performance compared with the previous year including:

  • In 59% of property condition complaints (the biggest reason for referrals to the Ombudsman) there had been service area failures by the landlord and
  • There were failures in 86% of complaint handling complaints.

The Ombudsman has published 115 landlord performance reports where it investigated five or more complaints and wrote to 32 landlords (21 local authorities and 11 housing associations) where maladministration was found in at least half of the Ombudsman’s decisions. Five of the 32 landlords had maladministration found in at least three quarters of their decisions:

  • Golding Homes – 90%
  • East Devon DC – 89%
  • Lambeth & Southwark HA – 86%
  • Bolton at Home – 80% and
  • Hexagon HA – 78%.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “We recognise that social landlords and residents are facing unprecedented challenges, with a cost of living crisis and ageing homes, but a positive complaints handling culture remains vital. Our review highlights the challenges with embedding this and also shows poor performance in some service areas still at unacceptably high levels.  Too often landlords can focus on managing the reputational risk to their organisation when things go wrong, rather than learning and improvement”.