Case Study 45: Charging tenant for missed repairs appointments - Locally resolved with intervention

Ms V complained about the landlord’s decision to charge her for a missed repair appointment and for any future appointments if she was not at home to provide access.

The landlord claimed that Ms V was not available for a pre-arranged visit by its contractor and told her that she would be charged for this and for any future missed appointments. Ms V complained that the landlord’s allegation that she was not at home was untrue and not based on sound evidence.

Ms V contacted the Ombudsman while she was taking her complaint through the landlord’s internal complaints procedure. We encouraged both parties to resolve the dispute locally by talking to each other and suggested some issues that the landlord may wish to reconsider.

As a result of the Ombudsman’s intervention, the landlord revisited the information provided by its contractor and Ms V and concluded that it was inconclusive. It therefore agreed to withdraw the charge for the missed appointment and apologised to Ms V.

This case demonstrates the importance of a landlord considering the circumstances of an individual case, and not adopting a ‘tick box’ approach to the application of its policies.