Suffolk County Council (16 017 486)

Category : Other Categories > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 30 Mar 2017

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Ms X’s complaint about the Council causing damage to her carpet. Ms X has a legal remedy in court.

The complaint

  1. Ms X complains the Council has refused to pay for damage to her carpet. Ms X says a home carer caused the damage by spilling water which contained shower gel.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. 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)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered Ms X’s comments and the Council’s replies to her complaint.

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What I found

  1. Ms X says a home carer caused a spillage which left a stain on her carpet. The Council’s reply says she wants £300 to replace or payment for cleaning.
  2. The Council and its home care provider say it did not cause the damage. It does not accept the spillage described caused the stain.


  1. I will not investigate this complaint for the following reasons:
      1. The complaint is outside the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman because Ms X can take a claim for damages to court (see paragraph 2 above).
      2. I consider it reasonable for Ms X to use her legal remedies because a court has the power to decide such a dispute.

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Final decision

  1. I will not investigate Ms X’s complaint about the Council causing damage to her carpet. Ms X has a legal remedy in court.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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