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Housing Ombudsman issues best practice guidance 09/04/2020 Labelled as Legislation, Regulation

The Housing Ombudsman has published best practice guidance on complaint handling during the coronavirus crisis. The guidance sets out information on dealing with repairs complaints, ASB cases and engaging with the Housing Ombudsman Service during the coronavirus crisis.


Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway told ARCH:


"Whilst most landlords are telling us they continue to handle complaints largely as before, we understand that for some landlords their complaint services will be disrupted making it doubly important that we are providing access and assistance for those residents. We are currently operating largely as normal, including our helpline. This benefits residents and landlords by providing access to the service and helping to manage expectations. We will continue to emphasise to landlords they should contact us where they have issues, so we are able to respond". 


The Housing Ombudsman's approach to seeking to maintain "business as usual" during the coronavirus crisis will add to the pressures on councils at this very busy time and is in stark contrast to that of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Service which announced on 26 March that it was suspending all casework activity that demands information from, or action by, local authorities and care providers in light of the coronavirus outbreak.


The Housing Ombudsman has however delayed the introduction of the planned changes to the Housing Ombudsman Scheme and introduction of new powers and is now aiming to introduce the revised Housing Ombudsman Scheme in September rather than early summer, to allow for further engagement on aspects of the Scheme - such as the complaint handling code - later in the year.

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