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