In light of the coronavirus outbreak, the Housing Ombudsman has issued an update for landlords that are part of the scheme.
The update covers complaints handling procedures, timescales, repair orders and communications channels. The main points are summarised below.
- Landlords' complaint handling – the ombudsman acknowledges that landlords will be making their own arrangements concerning coronavirus, and that this may impact on complaint handling processes. Landlords are advised to inform the ombudsman of any such changes.
- Timescales for information requests – the ombudsman recognises that it may be difficult in some cases for landlords to meet timescales for information requests. It asks that landlords notify the ombudsman of any changed cirucmstances, and agree a new timetable with the caseworker.
- Repair orders – some landlords are currently operating a changed repairs service, so the ombudsman is giving landlords the flexibility to comply with non-urgent repairs during this period, for new orders issued. For existing orders where a landlord has compliance difficulties due to coronavirus, they should contact the caseworkers.
- Local resolution of complaints – the ombudsman continues to support residents and landlords seeking the resolution of complaints that are within the landlord's process, but will keep this under review as circumstances change.
- Communication channels – landlords are asked to encourage residents to contact the ombudsman by phone, email or online complaint form rather than by post for the time being.
You can read the full update on the Housing Ombudsman's website.