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calendar icon17 Oct 2023

Social housing complaints soar

The number of residents complaining about their social housing has seen a huge spike, according to a new report.

The Housing Ombudsman’s annual complaints review shows grievances were up 28% in 2022-23, compared to the previous year, and topped 5,000 for the first time ever.

Other stats

The report also reveals there was a massive rise in the number of upheld complaints. It shows a:

  • 323% increase in severe maladministration findings
  • 40% increase in maladministration findings
  • 20% drop in no maladministration findings

Leading causes of complaints

  • 54% of complaints were about property condition
  • 52% of complaints related to health and safety concerns

Regional differences

  • London had the highest maladministration rates and was responsible for 77 of the 130 severe maladministration findings last year.
  • The South West had the lowest overall maladministration rate, as well as a much lower maladministration rate on health and safety than other areas of the country.
  • The North East and Yorkshire have the lowest severe maladministration rates.

Residents being treated unfairly

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said:

“What our data shows is a fundamental gap between some of the services landlords deliver and the reasonable expectations of their residents.

“Too often residents with disabilities or mental health needs are falling between those gaps.

“Too often the basics not being done properly, with straightforward communication or record keeping being missed leading to problems becoming more severe.

“This is leading to residents being treated unfairly and experiencing financial detriment or losing the enjoyment of their home.”

A picture of poor practice

Blakeway acknowledged that times are tough for landlords. He said:

“While the statistics reflect a picture of poor practice, they also reflect the increased pressures we know that social landlords are facing with a combined housing and cost-of-living crisis.”

He added that the Housing Ombudsman will use increased powers under the Social Housing Regulation Act to help landlords improve their policy and practice in key areas.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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