Case Study 44: Repair to front door after break-in - Locally resolved with support

Mr R complained about how his landlord dealt with his reports of damage to his front door. He said that the door had been damaged during an attempted break-in. Mr R reported this to the Police and provided the landlord with a crime reference number.

When the landlord told Mr R that it was his responsibility to pay for the door to be repaired he made a formal complaint and contacted us to ask for help.

At this stage we gave Mr R guidance on how to take his complaint through the landlord’s internal complaints procedure and told him about which advice agencies could provide him with support and further information.

After taking legal advice, the landlord accepted that under the tenancy agreement it was responsible for the repairs to the door. It apologised to Mr R and offered to upgrade the door in the near future. Mr R remained dissatisfied that he had received incorrect information wanted further assurances about the security of the door and when it would be upgraded. He therefore asked the landlord to take his complaint to its complaints panel – the final stage of its internal procedure.

As the complaints procedure had not yet been exhausted there was an opportunity to resolve the complaint locally. As the parties were experiencing difficulties in communicating clearly with each other we wrote to the landlord to set out Mr R’s concerns and to encourage it to use the Dispute Resolution Principles (to: Be Fair; Put Things Right; and Learn From Outcomes) in trying to resolve Mr R’s complaint.

The landlord’s complaints panel decided that a full apology should be sent to Mr R and £200 compensation should be paid for any distress he had experienced. It also recommended that repair procedures, tenancy agreements and tenant handbooks should be reviewed and amended where necessary to prevent similar situations arising in future. This demonstrated that not only was it putting the matter right but that it had learnt form Mr G’s complaint.