‘Severe maladministration’: Homes for Haringey ordered to pay compensation

The Haringey resident was suffering from leaks, damp and mould in her home

The Haringey resident was suffering from leaks, damp and mould in her home, resulting in her being admitted to hospital and having to increase her heating bills - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Housing Ombudsman has found "severe maladministration" in Homes for Haringey's dealing with a vulnerable tenant. 

Homes for Haringey is an arm's length management organisation (ALMO) charged with managing Haringey’s council housing. 

The ombudsman found numerous instances of missed appointments and repairs not being carried out, following a resident’s reports of leaks, mould and damp in her property. 

The resident, who has a medical condition exacerbated by the state of her home, was admitted to hospital and had to increase her heating bills as a result of the ongoing issues. 

A leak was first reported by the resident in 2018, with some repairs carried out. Over the next few years, poor communication and an inability to resolve the problems led to first stage one and two complaints, then a review by the tenant panel, and finally the ombudsman. 

Following its investigation, the ombudsman stated it found "severe maladministration" on behalf of the landlord. 

In a release, it said: “We ordered it (the landlord) to pay the resident compensation of £600, take a number of actions to deal with the repairs and review how it responds to the recommendations of the tenant panel.”  

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Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “Although the landlord acknowledged its errors in communication about the repairs, it did not offer suitable compensation to recognise the inconvenience experienced by the resident by its lack of communication and unexplained delays.  

“The landlord was aware that the resident suffered from medical conditions which she said were made worse by living in a property affected by damp and mould.” 

Mr Blakeway added that he welcomes the opportunity the landlord has taken to learn from the complaint, and encourages other landlords to consider its learnings as well.  

A Homes for Haringey spokesperson said: “We are sorry that on this occasion our service to a leaseholder has not met the high standards we set ourselves or that our residents should expect.

"We are grateful for the clarity given by the Ombudsman’s report, and accept all its recommendations.

"We apologise for all the distress this situation has caused to the leaseholder.”  

The spokesperson said a review of its system of recording notes will be undertaken, and that recent changes have been made to its repair service.

They added that there is also a wider transformation programme underway, with a series of changes to be in place by April this year.