Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (16 017 714)

Category : Other Categories > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 24 Mar 2017

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: Mr X complained about the Council’s housing officers allegedly sharing personal information about him with his neighbour with whom he has a dispute. The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint. It concerns the actions of a council’s social housing provider and is outside his jurisdiction.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mr X, complains about the Council’s officers passing personal information about him to his neighbour with whom he has a dispute. He wants the Council to take action against the officers responsible.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We cannot investigate complaints about the provision or management of social housing by a council acting as a registered social housing provider. (Local Government Act 1974, paragraph 5A schedule 5, as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered all the information which Mr X submitted with his complaint and Mr X has commented on the draft decision.

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What I found

  1. Mr X is a Council tenant and has disputes with his neighbour, who is also a tenant, for several years. He says that his neighbour claims to have friends in the Housing service and recently he has referred to personal matters which Mr X believes were disclosed by the housing officers.
  2. Since April 2013 the Ombudsman has no authority to investigate complaints about social housing providers. The Housing Ombudsman service is the appropriate body to investigate such complaints. The Council recently confirmed that it received enquiries from the Housing Ombudsman service about Mr X’s complaint. Mr X will need to pursue his complaint with the Housing Ombudsman as the matter is outside our jurisdiction.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint. It concerns the actions of a council’s social housing provider and is outside his jurisdiction.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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