Case Study 55: Leak and Anti-Social Behaviour - Locally Resolved with Support
Ms W was not satisfied with the amount of compensation that her landlord had offered her in regard to how it had dealt with her reports of a water leak into her property. The landlord had considered her complaint about this and had offered £300 as a ‘goodwill gesture’, it accepted that it could have stopped the leak sooner and it had not provided a dehumidifier to help to dry out Ms W’s home.
Ms W contacted the Ombudsman and explained that she did not believe that the compensation was sufficient recognition of the damage that had been caused, the inconvenience to her and her young family, and the landlord’s overall handling of the situation including not offering her temporary accommodation whilst she was without heating, hot water or electricity for four days.
Although Ms W had exhausted her landlord’s complaints procedure, we considered that there was still scope for the matter to be resolved between the parties and we referred the case back to the landlord for further consideration. It reviewed the case again and considered the outcome that Ms W was seeking, as well as the guidance in its own compensation policy. It agreed to increase its original offer of compensation by a further £255, and provided Ms W with a detailed explanation of how it had calculated this figure.
Ms W had also complained about how the landlord had dealt with the reports she had made about ASB from her neighbours. In its response to her complaint about this, the landlord explained that it had liaised with the police, taken legal advice, spoken and written to the neighbours in question, and it asked Ms W to continue to provide diary sheets. However it apologised that its records of her reports were not as comprehensive as they should have been and it accepted that it had not always responded to her reports as promptly as it should have done.
Following contact with the Ombudsman, the landlord considered its position on this part of Ms W’s complaint again. It decided that it would be appropriate to offer Ms W a discretionary payment of £100 in recognition of how it had dealt with her ASB reports. This was in line with its own compensation policy.
Ms W accepted the landlord’s revised offers of compensation, and she advised this Service that she was satisfied with the outcome. In this case it was appropriate for the landlord to reconsider its position after its complaints procedure had been exhausted, because it was important to ensure that all Ms W’s circumstances were taken into account when considering what an appropriate offer of compensation would be. This resulted in a revised offer which was clearly explained to Ms W and which she was satisfied with as a resolution to her complaint.