Industry News

Ombudsman finds case of severe maladministration against London council

complaint handling following an investigation by the Housing Ombudsman. The Ombudsman found the council took an


excessively long time to deal with a complaint from Mr G about repairs following a waterleak and failed to apologise or offer appropriate compensation. This is the second finding of severe

maladministration against Newham Council by the Ombudsman, who said the delay was unreasonable for a relatively straightforward complaint. Following a leak from a flat above, Newham

Council temporarily moved the tenant into accommodation elsewhere. The tenant contacted the council several times to get the repairs carried out but was unable to get through. Mr G then called the council’s call centre and

said he was told that he could conduct the work himself, which he did and subsequently requested reimbursement of nearly £2,300. The tenant complained after receiving no response from the council. The tenant said he then had to pursue his

complaint for more than 18 months before getting a final response, during which time the Ombudsman also contacted the council on at least seven occasions asking it to respond. The council said it would not have advised Mr G

to carry out the work himself, but telephone recordings were only retained for six months and

The Ombudsman found the council took an excessively long time to deal with a complaint from Mr G about repairs following a waterleak and failed to apologise or offer appropriate compensation

therefore the opportunity to review the call was lost. The Ombudsman found the council had no

specific policy on repairs, so was unable to determine who had responsibility for carrying out the repair and could not order the council to recompense the resident. Richard Blakeway, the Housing Ombudsman,

said: “The council took an excessively long time to respond to the formal complaint, failed to keep the resident informed, provide explanations for the delays or contact the resident despite numerous requests from this service. It also failed to check its

records for the content of the phone call during the stage one complaint despite having ample opportunity, which was unacceptable.” As well as ordering the council to compensate the

tenant and provide training to its staff, the Ombudsman recommended the council produce a repairs policy that outlines the responsibilities of both parties and timescales for completing repairs. It also recommended the council produce a compensation policy to address how and when it will consider making financial redress to a complainant.

he London Borough of Newham has been ordered to pay £800 in compensation to one of its tenants and provide training to staff in

Dangerous cladding removal from tower blocks drags on

Over 100 high-rise buildings across the country still have dangerous inflammable Aluminium Composite Material cladding on them, as the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire approaches. The total number of buildings identified

with ACM cladding systems unlikely to meet Building Regulations at the end of February stood at 465, an increase of four on the previous month, with the cladding status of a further 15 buildings awaiting clarification. Of these 465 buildings, 242 have completed all remediation works (up by 26 since the start

of 2021) while works are in progress on a further 180 buildings. No remediation work has started yet on 43 buildings – 35 are privately owned high rise blocks, 7 are hotels and the remaining one is publicly owned, but is not used for residential purposes. The rate of progress in removing ACM cladding

appears to be slowest in the capital. Overall, remediation has been completed for 105 buildings in London (just 41 per cent of the ACM clad buildings identified in London), 40 buildings in Greater Manchester (55 per cent), and 97 buildings in the rest of England (70 per cent). In its latest bulletin on progress, the MHCLG

says by the end of 2021, it estimates that 85 per cent of all identified buildings will have completed remediation. Of the 68 buildings not forecast to complete remediation by the end of 2021, 38 are forecast to have removed their ACM cladding systems by the end of 2021 and a further eight are vacant. There are approximately 10,600 to

13,000 dwellings in the 125 private sector 14 | HMM April/May 2021 |

residential buildings that are occupied and yet to be remediated. Remediation works for half of private sector

residential buildings are being paid for by building owners or other industry funding solutions. Developers or freeholders have committed to pay for the remediation of 87 buildings and 21 were accepted under a warranty claim. To protect leaseholders from the costs of

remediation, the Private Sector Remediation Fund made £200 million of funding available to ensure buildings lacking a funding solution could be quickly remediated. MHCLG is working closely with those responsible for the remediation of the remaining six buildings without a funding solution in place to progress remediation and protect leaseholders from costs. Ironically private high-rise blocks that have

received funding from the Government’s cladding remediation fund appear to be far less likely to have completed work than those that received no grant, according to the analysis of date released by the Housing Ministry.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52