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Home » Haringey Council Vows To Speed Up Housing Complaint Handling

Haringey Council Vows To Speed Up Housing Complaint Handling

Haringey Council has pledged to make improvements after failing to comply with a watchdog’s orders to speed up its handling of housing complaints.

The council is among the landlords with the highest levels of non-compliance with complaint handling failure orders issued by the Housing Ombudsman, which investigates complaints against social housing providers.

The ombudsman makes the orders to ensure a landlord’s complaint handling process is accessible and consistent, and enables the timely progression of complaints.

READ MORE: ‘It’s not just Birmingham – every council has had its budget slashed’ A report published last month revealed the council failed to comply with two of three orders issued by the watchdog between April and June this year.

Only Southwark Council and Barking and Dagenham Council fared worse, failing to comply with three orders each.

Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway said: “It is exceptional for us to issue a failure order and every one comes after several attempts to engage the landlord. For a landlord to receive several and not comply indicates its complaints procedure is not working as it should.

“The result is residents continually waiting for redress and landlords missing opportunities to put something right sooner.

“It is vital landlords assess their complaints procedure as the complaint handling code becomes statutory. This means ensuring its complaints team has the resources and leverage within the landlord to do its job.”

Earlier this year, the council pledged to spend an extra £5 million to address “major and systematic failings” in the running of its housing stock, which was insourced from council-owned company Homes for Haringey in June last year.

Efforts to boost its housing repairs are being held back, however, by neighbouring London boroughs poaching staff with better pay offers. Repair workers in Haringey are set to strike over pay in November and December.

Sarah Williams, the council’s cabinet member for housing services, private renters and planning, said: “We are actively working with the Housing Ombudsman to ensure we improve our complaint handling process.

“We have made a number of changes that include upskilling staff as well as a complete overhaul of complaints handling so that we have robust processes in place and can respond effectively.

“We have also agreed a dedicated action plan with the Housing Ombudsman to apply best practice and will continue working hard to get this right.”