The Housing Ombudsman has published details of a revised scheme intended to extend fairness and protection to wider residents, beyond individual complaints.
The move is in line with new powers granted under the Social Housing Regulation Act, including the power to issue wider orders, and following approval of the revised scheme by the housing secretary, the ombudsman is now able to evaluate a particular policy or practice to prevent service failure being repeated.
Previously, the ombudsman explains, these types of orders would have only been recommendations, which the landlord was not duty bound to act upon.
However, with its expanded authority, the ombudsman can now to require landlords to go beyond the scope of individual complaints and seek to address any wider issues.
Richard Blakeway, the housing ombudsman, said: “These changes will help us to extend fairness to residents who may be experience poor service without the landlord taking action on the root causes.
“This will also help landlords to learn from complaints and prompt changes in landlord behaviour. By extending the ombudsman’s reach beyond individual complaints, more residents will benefit from the ombudsman’s oversight and intervention, ultimately enhancing the quality of social housing.
“These powers give also us extra tools to act when we see repeated service failure.”
Image credit: Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman
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