Housing Ombudsman swamped with rise in tenants’ complaints

If you’ve got an unresolved housing complaint against Kingston Council, you may need to think twice before pursuing it with the Housing Ombudsman, whose service has been swamped with a huge rise in complaints against social landlords, including councils!

The Ombudsman Service, regarded as the final arbiter for housing grievances, has seen a 66% increase in the number of complaints over the last two years. Last year (2014/15) it dealt with 16,337 complaints and enquiries, up from 12,782 in the previous 12 months. It has now said there is a ‘key risk’ that it will be unable to cope if the numbers continue to grow.

Whether it’s just a co-incidence or not, the Ombudsman’s workload soared after it took on responsibility for dealing with complaints about council landlords in 2013 – expanding its services to an extra two million social housing tenants. However, the Chartered Institute for Housing says the increase could be the result of major welfare reforms, leading tenants to complain about their landlords.