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Housing Ombudsman Records Highest Level of Non-compliance in Complaint Handling Failure Orders

The latest Complaint Handling Failure Order report has been released, covering data from April to June 2023. This quarter has seen a concerning trend, with the highest number of non-compliant landlords identified since the inception of these reports. During this period, 43 Complaint Handling Failure Orders (CHFOs) were issued, and notably, 18 of these orders were not complied with, marking the highest level of non-compliance in a single quarter.

CHFOs are issued to support residents in raising or escalating complaints within their landlord’s procedure, gathering evidence for formal investigations, or addressing outstanding compliance issues with the Ombudsman’s remedies. The majority of CHFOs were issued before investigations began, and over 6,000 cases were handled by the Ombudsman at this preliminary stage during this quarter.

As a response to this concerning non-compliance, the Ombudsman has reached out to organizations that failed to comply with multiple CHFOs. The report also introduces a new section, offering detailed insights and lessons learned from cases where landlords received multiple CHFOs, with the aim of preventing similar failings in the future.

The report includes data on the total number of inquiries, revealing that a significant 66% of residents experienced delays in their landlords’ responses to complaints, highlighting a prevalent issue with adhering to response timescales.

Furthermore, the report shares key lessons from the cases analyzed and provides valuable information and guidance on the Ombudsman’s intervention work, which aims to reduce the need for formal actions.

In a more positive light, the report acknowledges three landlords—Waltham Forest Council, Stonewater, and Livv Housing—for taking effective action to improve their complaint handling procedures during the quarter, demonstrating a commitment to addressing these issues.

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