- Miss X The complainant
Miss X complained the Council delayed inspecting her privately rented property for health hazards and then failed to inspect properly. Further, it did not properly update her on the outcome of its inspection. Miss X says she has lived for longer than necessary in unhealthy conditions and her belongings were damaged.
We have found fault causing injustice and made recommendations.
The Council must consider the report and confirm within three months the action it has taken or proposes to take. The Council should consider the report at its full Council, Cabinet or other appropriately delegated committee of elected members and we will require evidence of this. (Local Government Act 1974, section 31(2), as amended)
To remedy the injustice identified in this report, the Council should carry out the following actions.
Apologise to Miss X.
Pay Miss X £500 for distress and uncertainty.
Write to Miss X to provide an update on the Council’s enforcement investigation from May 2022 to date, including any checks on the progress of works, decisions on whether to take enforcement action and reasons for its decision(s).
Amend the Council’s investigation procedure to ensure it takes formal enforcement action upon finding a category 1 hazard in line with the law.
- Train those staff responsible for housing disrepair complaints on the new process.
The Council should provide us with evidence it has complied with the above actions.
Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 11 July 2023.