Case Study 54: Decoration Allowance - Locally Resolved with Intervention

Ms W contacted the Ombudsman for assistance with her complaint about how her landlord had dealt with her request for a decoration allowance. 

The background to this case was that Ms W had submitted an application for a decoration allowance following works carried out by contractors. However the landlord had no record of this. She made a complaint and the landlord responded by saying that it would give her ‘the benefit of doubt’ and offered £25 as a goodwill gesture.

Ms W contacted the Ombudsman because she believed that if the landlord was to give her ‘the benefit of doubt’ it should then offer her the full decoration amount, which under its policy was £51.75. Furthermore the landlord would not escalate her complaint to the next stage of its complaints process in line with its own procedure.

We contacted the landlord to discuss how the complaint could be resolved, and a fair outcome be reached.  We also encouraged the landlord to ensure that its decision was fully explained to Ms W.  Following this, the landlord decided that it would be appropriate to consider the case at the next stage of its complaints procedure. It also met Ms W to discuss her concerns and to ensure that it understood the issue that was in dispute. The outcome of this was that, although the landlord’s records of what Ms W had been told at the time that she made her initial request were inconclusive, it decided to use its discretion and offered her the full allowance amount of £51.75. 

In this case the matter being considered again by officers who had not been involved previously resulted in an outcome for Ms W which she was satisfied with. She accepted the landlord’s offer and its explanation of how it had reached its final decision and the case was resolved.