Stafford Borough Council (19 017 989)

Category : Adult care services > Disabled facilities grants

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 11 Mar 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr B’s complaint about the damage to his property. This is because it is not unreasonable to expect him to go to court to seek a remedy if the matter remains unresolved.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mr B, complained that the Council has failed to ensure damage to his property caused by contractors working on adaptations to the property next door was put right at the end of the construction period. Mr B told us there has been significant damage to his home and driveway.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. The law says we cannot normally investigate a complaint when someone could take the matter to court. However, we may decide to investigate if we consider it would be unreasonable to expect the person to go to court. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(c), as amended)
  3. We investigate complaints about councils and certain other bodies. Where an individual, organisation or private company is providing services on behalf of a council, we can investigate complaints about the actions of these providers. (Local Government Act 1974, section 25(7), as amended)

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered the information Mr B provided and given him an opportunity to comment on my draft decision.

Back to top

What I found

  1. Mr B has complained about damage to his property which he says was caused when adaptations were carried out by an Agency to the property next door. Mr B told us the organisations involved said the damage would be repaired after the work was finished. But two months elapsed after completion without Mr B receiving an apology or rectification of the damage. Mr B says he has plenty of evidence of the contractor’s bad practices and incompetence.
  2. It is not unreasonable to expect Mr B to go to court to seek a remedy for the damage he believes he has suffered. The question of whether the Council, or bodies providing services on its behalf, are liable for the damage Mr B has described is a legal matter. Mr B may be able to pursue the matter through his own insurers. If it remains unresolved, it is not unreasonable to expect him to pursue a remedy through the courts. That is because a court is the appropriate body to decide contested questions of law, whether damages must be paid and to enforce any award of damages.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because it is not unreasonable to expect the complainant to go to court to seek a remedy if the matter remains unresolved.

Investigator’s final decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Privacy settings