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Findings of maladministration by Housing Ombudsman edge up in 2019/20

The Housing Ombudsman found full or partial maladministration in 39% of cases determined in 2019/20, up 2% on the previous year, its Annual Report and Accounts have revealed.

The Ombudsman made 1,618 orders and 999 recommendations during the year.

The report, which can be viewed here, revealed that repairs continued to be the largest category of complaint received at 38%. This was followed by tenants’ behaviour (14%) and complaints handling (12%).

It also showed that:

  • For the first time in three years, the number of determinations at 2,138 was higher than the number of cases in the Ombudsman's formal remit at 1,981.
  • The average determination rate for formal investigations was below the six month target at 5.8 months, the first time the target had been achieved.
  • All cases were determined within 12 months, exceeding the target of 99%.
  • During 2019-20, the Ombudsman continued to close more cases than the number received – 14,903 enquiries and complaints received and 15,832 closed.
  • There had been high levels of compliance with the Ombudsman’s orders at 95% within three months and 99% within six months, meeting its targets.
  • Landlords were ordered to pay compensation to residents totalling £412,214.54 across the year.

From the beginning of this month revisions to the Housing Ombudsman Scheme came into effect with the aim of strengthening the Ombudsman’s powers. They include a new Complaint Handling Code for greater consistency across landlords’ complaint procedures.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “Following the hard work of my team, I am pleased to report that 2019-20 was a successful year in terms of our performance, the best performance against targets in recent times. We were able to quickly transition to effective remote working at the end of the year following the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to provide a full service.

“Our service will be even more important as we move forward and we remain committed to delivering our plans to expand and change the service, ensuring the Ombudsman is integral to a healthier housing system.”

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