Case Study 4: Repairs and complaint handling

The landlord failed to complete a repair to the window of the property which was its responsibility under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as reflected in the tenancy agreement held with the tenant, Mr A). This led to further disrepair over two years, during which time the environmental health department categorised the property as a hazard to Mr A’s health and unsuitable for occupation. Having completed the landlord’s complaints procedure, Mr A brought the complaint to the Ombudsman. 

The Ombudsman carried out a formal investigation and determined that there had been severe maladministration in the landlord’s handling of the repair, as well as in its administration of the complaints procedure. The Ombudsman found that the landlord had not identified the extent of its failings, or their impact, on Mr A. This included failure to consider evidence provided by Mr A’s doctor that his health had deteriorated during the time of the disrepair. The landlord missed numerous opportunities over the course of two years to put things right.

The Ombudsman ordered compensation of £2,080 to be paid to Mr A and made recommendations for the landlord to train staff, review its repairs process and improve record keeping.