Case Study 13: Repairs

Ms P complained about the length of time her landlord took to confirm that there was damp in her property and to then carry out the required repairs.

Ms P and the landlord provided differing accounts of the number of times that she had reported her concerns. When the landlord confirmed it was damp, there were delays in carrying out the works needed, which took around four months to be completed.

The landlord acknowledged that the service Ms P had received during that period was unsatisfactory. It also recognised weaknesses in keeping her informed about the actions it was taking. It therefore offered her £50 as a gesture of goodwill.

We found that, by acknowledging its service failures and making an offer of compensation, the landlord had made suitable redress to Ms P for the delays she had experienced.

Whilst the landlord had taken appropriate action to resolve the issues that Ms P had complained about, there were weaknesses in its handling of her complaint about this matter. The landlord did not investigate her complaint fully, and its responses at each stage were brief and did not address many of the points she had raised. In addition there was no evidence that Ms P was invited to attend the panel hearing to discuses her complaint at the final stage of the landlord’s own complaints procedure.  We therefore ordered the landlord to apologise to Ms P regarding the poor handling of her complaint, and to pay her compensation of £100 in recognition of this.

If the landlord had investigated Ms P’s complaint fully when she first complained, and provided a comprehensive response explaining its decisions, it may have been able to resolve matters through its own complaints procedure. In addition, by failing to ensure that Ms P was invited to the panel hearing at the final stage of its  complaints procedure, the landlord did not provide her with the opportunity to explain her concerns or to discuss with the panel how best to resolve the dispute.