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Housing Ombudsman calls out Ealing Council over delays in dealing with complaints

Ealing Council is one of eight landlords named by the Housing Ombudsman for not complying with its orders over how it showed “unreasonable delays in accepting or progressing a complaint”.

In its latest complaint handling failure order (CHFO) report, the Ombudsman has formally written to Ealing Council, Adullam Homes, Barking and Dagenham Council, Lambeth Council, Lewisham Council, Luton Community Housing, Metropolitan Thames Valley, Sandwell Council and Westminster City Council for not being compliant.

Housing Ombudsman report

The Ombudsman also highlighted the need for landlords to take notice of a new complaint process code that comes into force on 1 April 2024.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman said: “As the Complaint Handling Code becomes statutory, we are urging landlords to read this report, and its predecessors, to ensure that complaint handling compliance is seen in practice as well as policy. This will form a key part of our Duty to Monitor work, where we will not just take the landlord’s word in their self-assessment if our casework is saying otherwise.”

He added: “It is vital landlords assess their complaints procedure as the Code becomes statutory. This also means ensuring its complaints team has the resources and leverage within the landlord to do its job and to ensure there is fairness for residents when making a complaint.”

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, an Ealing Council spokesperson said: “The council has recently updated its complaints handling process in an effort to ensure residents receive prompt responses and have their complaints dealt with properly. When complaints received during this transitional period were reviewed in October 2023, this one was highlighted as requiring action and was actioned immediately at that point.”

The spokesperson added: “This was an unreasonable delay in our complaints process during this transitional period.”

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