Case Study 26: Transfer following disrepair

Ms R complained about the landlord’s response to damp issues and damage to her belongings. She also said that her family’s health had been affected by conditions at her home. She asked for a permanent move rather than having to return from her current decant accommodation.

Following contact with the Ombudsman the landlord said that its managing agent had not properly considered a letter from Ms R’s doctor during the internal complaints procedure. Contrary to policy and procedure, it had not arranged for an assessment by an Occupational Therapist (OT) in response to the doctor saying that returning to her permanent address would be harmful to Ms R’s health. The landlord therefore agreed to arrange an OT assessment and ensure that its agent did not overlook this requirement in future. However, it also said that the situation was complicated by Ms R’s rent arrears of over £2,000, which meant she was not eligible for rehousing through its standard housing register.

We spoke to the landlord again after the OT recommended that Ms R should not return home and referred the case back to the landlord for resolution. Following a discussion between the landlord and Ms R, she accepted the offer of a permanent tenancy. That offer was dependent on her agreeing to clear the arrears and this was written into the new tenancy. The landlord also agreed to support Ms R in making a claim to its insurers for damage to her belongings. 

This case shows how the Ombudsman’s intervention can help a landlord resolve a complaint through the use of its own policies including the appropriate exercise of discretion.