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Housing Ombudsman issues report on cases of severe maladministration in 2019/20

The Housing Ombudsman has named the five social landlords involved in cases where it found severe maladministration in 2019/20.

The report, Severe maladministration findings in 2019/20, sets out the case background, the Ombudsman’s assessment and findings, plus the orders made.

The cases were:

  • Two involving the London Boroughs of Camden and Newham where there were lengthy delays in dealing with repairs "so residents were left in poor living conditions over long periods of time".
  • A group of 29 residents living in supported housing provided by Together Housing Association not being consulted as required by regulatory standards about support services being withdrawn.
  • Failures by Cottsway Housing that led a resident to believe for 15 years that she had preserved right to buy when she did not.
  • Hyde Housing failing to respond to enquiries first by a resident and then by the Ombudsman over more than a year.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “This report is focused on the few but most serious failings where we investigate and make a finding of severe maladministration. Issues with complaint handling featured in all of the cases together with poor record keeping in several.

“I have been encouraged by the response from landlords in wanting to put things right and hope that by publishing these cases, the learning is shared more widely across the sector to help improve services and benefit residents.”

The Ombudsman’s service said the report was part of its ongoing process to increase transparency by publishing more data and information about cases investigated and the findings.

From now on, cases with a finding of severe maladministration will be highlighted on an ongoing basis through the year, it added.

The Ombudsman will also notify the Regulator of Social Housing, under the revised memorandum of understanding adopted with the new Housing Ombudsman Scheme. 

The Housing Ombudsman is also planning to publish reports on complaints data about individual landlords shortly, followed by the regular publication of casework decisions next year.

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