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Housing Ombudsman publishes special report on Birmingham City Council

The Housing Ombudsman has published a special report on Birmingham City Council after its investigation found fundamental failures.

The report is based on complaints made to the Council that were brought to the Ombudsman for investigation over a six-month period from March 2022.  The Ombudsman found maladministration in 24 of the 25 findings it made across those cases including five findings of severe maladministration. The Ombudsman has made recommendations to the Council across four themes:

  • Repairs
  • Record keeping
  • Complaint handling and
  • Compensation.

Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway said: “Our wider investigation reveals how the landlord’s current approach to handling complaints is fundamentally flawed.  At every point residents are met with increasing challenge to get the landlord to put things right, while the lack of adequate policies, procedures and governance combined with limited learning from these issues means the landlord repeats the same mistakes.  This has often led to a collapse in trust between residents and the landlord. Some residents faced living for years in homes that required repair, making repeated attempts to get the landlord and its contractors to act decisively. In one case the resident made repeated disrepair claims for over 10 years.  The landlord’s inadequate record keeping inevitably lead to delays and incomplete responses, forcing residents to complain, but our investigation found residents were often refused a rightful remedy”.