Case Study 15: Repairs and compensation

Ms M complained about the landlord’s response when she reported damp in her property and the level of compensation it offered once it acknowledged there had been failures in the service it had provided to her.

Ms M had reported damp walls to the landlord several times and although a surveyor inspected the property, the landlord did not do anything to resolve the issue. When it reviewed its action in response to her complaint the landlord upheld the complaint and told Ms M it would offer her a direct let to an alternative property to try to put matters right. Although Ms M initially agreed to accept this offer she subsequently refused because the landlord would not compensate her for improvements she had carried out in her existing property.

We discussed with Ms M what she wanted to resolve the dispute but explained that even if the landlord agreed to offer a further direct let, it may not agree to compensate her for works she carried out to her current property. We then discussed the complaint with the landlord and, after further consideration, it decided to offer Ms M one more direct let to try to resolve the dispute or if that was not acceptable, the option of a decant. This was the landlord’s final offer; it did not agree to reimburse Ms M for the improvement works she had carried out but did offer to help with her removal costs and a decoration allowance of £150. We discussed the landlord’s overall proposal with Ms M and she accepted the offer of a direct let on the basis outlined by the landlord.

In this case we worked with the parties to resolve the dispute, manage the mutual expectations of landlord and tenant and reach a fair solution. The landlord had already made an offer to try to resolve the dispute and after our involvement, and it additional offers of assistance Ms M accepted and confirmed that the landlord’s overall offer of redress had resolved the outstanding issues.