On 9 March, the Housing Ombudsman started publishing all decisions on cases investigated, naming the landlord involved in each case. The move is aimed at increasing transparency and accountability and encouraging service improvement. The investigations and decisions cover a range of issues, including Right to Buy, staff conduct, property applications, moving home, repairs and anti-social behaviour (ASB).
In each report, the Housing Ombudsman sets out its approach, the complaint, determination, summary of events and the reasons behind the determination. Key findings in the most recent reports include:
There are some reports in which the Ombudsman outlines why the case fell outside of its jurisdiction. Reasons included:
In publishing the reports and naming the landlord involved, the Housing Ombudsman is hoping that residents will be able to better understand its work and that landlord staff will regularly consult their casebook in order to develop their own organisation and also improve the experience of their residents.
It’s clear that the Regulator of Social Housing wants to see boards having appropriate oversight of complaints-handling and that poor complaints-handling could be linked to governance failures. If you haven’t already – now is the time to get your house in order.
Read more in our previous article on the Housing Ombudsman’s updated Scheme and new Complaints Handling Code.