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Housing Ombudsman Report Slams Social Landlord Failures

A damning report by the Housing Ombudsman has uncovered significant shortcomings among 27 social housing landlords regarding their handling of leaks. These failures have led to widespread tenant complaints due to resultant damp and mould issues.

The report details severe cases of prolonged inaction by landlords, causing extensive damage and displacement for affected tenants. In one alarming instance, a tenant was relocated for nearly two years as their landlord struggled to address a persistent leak.

“Leaks can be complex and challenging,” said Richard Blakeway, the Housing Ombudsman. “These cases show how leaks can also cause acute distress and disruption to families. The sector needs to be more consistent and robust in its response.”

The report highlights common failures such as poor diagnosis, excessive delays, and a lack of consideration for vulnerable tenants. It emphasizes the need for landlords to act decisively to resolve issues and rebuild trust with residents.

“Too often the basics are not being done right, compounding what is already a complex area,” Blakeway added. “Landlords must identify key touchpoints during these cases and act appropriately to mitigate the impact on families.”

Blakeway also noted the sector’s unpreparedness for Awaab’s Law, which mandates proactive and timely resolutions for housing issues. The variability in landlord policies and practices is deemed unsustainable.

The report further criticizes landlords for inadequate responses, citing incidents where tenants faced repeated delays, leading to ceiling collapses and extensive damage to personal property.

Highlighted landlords include:

  • Arhag Housing Association
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Clarion
  • Ealing Council
  • Gentoo Group
  • Hackney Council
  • Haringey Council
  • Homes Plus Group
  • Irwell Valley Housing Association
  • Islington Council
  • Lambeth Council
  • L&Q
  • Metropolitan Thames Valley
  • Milton Keynes Council
  • Newham Council
  • One Housing Group
  • PA Housing
  • Peabody
  • Platform Housing Group
  • Redbridge Council
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • Sanctuary
  • Shepherds Bush Housing Group
  • Southern Housing
  • Tower Hamlets Council
  • Wandle
  • Welwyn Hatfield Council

The report calls for the sector to improve its handling of leaks in accordance with the Landlord and Tenant Act and in anticipation of Awaab’s Law’s requirements.

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