The Housing Ombudsman has issued a special report on Birmingham City Council

The Housing Ombudsman Has Issued a Special Report on Birmingham City Council

Since the conditions in which Awaab Ishak lived were made public and after the publication of the health problems that he suffered which led to his death, the Government and The Housing Ombudsman announced new regulations to monitor the quality and conditions of homes owned by local councils and housing associations.

The Housing Ombudsman has issued a special report on Birmingham City Council after finding fundamental failures in the handling of Housing Disrepair complaints and subsequent compensation.

“The Housing Ombudsman identified 4 key themes and delineate a series of recommendations:

  • Repairs – The aims of the landlord’s repairs policy were not met in practice, and residents had to make multiple attempts to get repairs resolved, often over a prolonged period. The report’s recommendations focus on how the landlord can improve triaging repairs requests, reviewing repairs progress with contractors, and taking a proactive approach to repairs.
  • Record keeping – The landlord’s response to repair requests and complaints showed the impact of poor record keeping. The landlord had no framework in place for the record keeping and the expectations on its staff and contractors. This is a significant weakness in the landlord’s approach and the cause of repeated service failure. Recommendations included developing a framework and an action plan to ensure better external and cross-departmental communications.
  • Complaint handling – The landlord’s complaints policy failed to comply with many of the requirements of the Complaint Handling Code, meaning there was little chance of individual complaints being handled appropriately. The report recommended the landlord update its complaint process to comply with the Code and then self-assess against it to detail how it will tackle cases of non-compliance.
  • Compensation – The landlord’s complaints policy did not allow for compensation to be paid for distress, inconvenience, time and trouble. It also said it could not make payments where the landlord decided there was no liability, which is entirely false. In one case the landlord initially refused to pay a financial remedy direct to the resident, instead wishing to offset it against rent arrears. The Ombudsman’s guidance on remedies is clear that compensation awarded by this Service should not be offset against arrears. The report recommends a new policy should be created so that a resident does not have to pursue a separate compensation claim.”

If you are a tenant, living in a Council or Housing Association rented property which has fallen into disrepair and your landlord has failed to repair it for you, you may have a disrepair claim against your Council or Housing Association.

How Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors can help you with damp and mould repairs

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors are one of the few housing disrepair solicitors across England and Wales who have a professional and dedicated legal team to ensure that your repairs are completed and more importantly get your home into the excellent condition that you deserve.

We can help you with the following aspects:

  • Instruct a surveyor to assess the disrepair and provide a report to use as evidence.
  • If necessary, legally ensure your housing association or council completes all your repairs.
  • Claim compensation for you for the period of time your property has been in disrepair.

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors are housing disrepair claim experts, assisting tenants nationwide on a NO WIN NO FEE basis to compel their council to conduct crucial repairs to their properties, in addition to recovering compensation for the period of time repairs have been delayed.

Our team has decades of combined experience in dealing with Housing Disrepair Claims. We are sympathetic, understanding, and are here to help you every step of the way.

Call us on 0800 093 3393 today to discuss your claim.


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