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Housing Ombudsman Report shines light on leaseholder and shared ownership complaints 24/09/2020 Labelled as Development, Scrutiny

The Housing Ombudsman has published a report bringing together insight from handling almost 2,000 complaints from leaseholders and shared owners over the last two years. These resulted in more than 800 formal investigations with redress required in some form in just over half of the cases investigated.


The report  'A new lease of life: Spotlight on leasehold, shared ownership and new builds' shows complaint handling itself being the area of most consistent concern where maladministration (including partial maladministration) was found in 72% of cases - double the Ombudsman's average uphold rate. Key issues identified are difficulties getting through complaints procedures, delays and periods of inaction.


The report provides learning points on complaints handling plus three other areas where maladministration or partial maladministration are found most often. They are repairs, estate management and leasehold charges. It also looks at staircasing and issues related to cladding and building safety, areas where the Housing Ombudsman has now received several complaints.


The report also identifies 12 landlords (six housing associations and six councils) with the highest number of maladministration findings (including partial maladministration and severe maladministration).


Case studies demonstrate the real-life experiences of residents and illustrate the range of findings and outcomes and how lessons can be drawn from those to share more widely.


The Report makes some 40 recommendations, urging landlords to improve lease agreements at the outset, strengthen systems and improve approaches to capturing and sharing knowledge and information within their organisations.


 'A new lease of life' is the second in the Housing Ombudsman's series of Spotlight reports which share the learning from complaints and provide best practice to help landlords improve their services and complaint handling. The full report can be downloaded from the Housing Ombudsman's website.

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