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Housing Ombudsman publishes severe maladministration finding for Sovereign

The Housing Ombudsman has published a severe maladministration finding for Sovereign Housing Association, after it failed to act on a leaking roof for 21 months leaving a vulnerable resident’s home uninhabitable.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found:

  • severe maladministration by Sovereign with respect to its handling of repairs to a leak in the roof of the property and
  • maladministration in its handling of the resident’s associated complaint.

Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway said: “The landlord’s failure to successfully undertake the repair in a timely manner led to the property becoming uninhabitable and caused significant distress and inconvenience for a vulnerable resident.  When the landlord was made aware of the impact the situation was having on the resident, it failed to act with appropriate urgency.  Whilst the landlord took some steps to address the impact of its failings – most notably rehousing the resident – these were not sufficient redress for the seriousness of the impact which the matter had on the resident”.

Ahead of Sovereign’s anticipated merger with Network Homes, Mr Blakeway added “The landlord is about to experience significant organisational change and the pressures of mergers can often be reflected in complaints. It is vital for the landlord to have a strong grip on complaints handling and the issues leading to service failure”.