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Labour councils named and shamed by Housing Secretary Gove

Three more social housing landlords have been ‘named and shamed’ by Housing Secretary Michael Gove.

The trio - two of which are Labour controlled councils - have been slammed for “failing residents” in a statement from Gove’s office. 

The three are Orbit Housing, a housing association; and Lambeth and Birmingham councils. 


In each case the Ombudsman found severe maladministration in their handling of complaints.

It brings the total number of landlords that have been publicly criticised by the Housing Secretary this year for poor performance to 14 and the total amount of compensation that they have been ordered to pay to social housing tenants by the Ombudsman, in 2022-23 to date, to over £574,000.

In a letter to the Law Society, Citizens Advice, and Housing Law Practitioners Association - released yesterday - Gove urges solicitors to tell social housing tenants that the Ombudsman should be the first route for reporting complaints with their landlord and that it is unacceptable for landlords to let legal proceedings get in the way of repairs.

He says that while lawyers will always have a crucial role representing tenants in legal proceedings, the Ombudsman services are free to use and residents are now able to bring complaints directly themselves, potentially avoiding lengthy and costly legal proceedings.

“Each of these landlords have failed their tenants, letting people suffer in disgraceful conditions while refusing to listen to complaints or treat them with respect” says Gove. 

“Housing providers will have nowhere to hide once our Social Housing Bill becomes law early next year. A beefed-up Regulator will have the power to enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice and make emergency repairs with landlords footing the bill.

“I’m urging everyone offering advice, from solicitors to voluntary organisations, to always direct social housing tenants with complaints to the Housing Ombudsman. 

“Every tenant deserves a decent home, and landlords must not use legal cases as an excuse to delay making repairs or act on complaints.”

Orbit Housing was ordered to pay a resident £5,000 after damp and mould issues went untreated, while Birmingham council failed to respond to a resident’s complaints of boiler faults and rotten floorboards in the living room.

In Lambeth, the council did not repair damaged windows in a fifth-floor flat that fell out of their frames onto the ground below, leaving a resident with boarded up windows during winter, causing mould which damaged their possessions.

They follow 11 other providers to have faced severe maladministration findings from the Ombudsman.

These have included Clarion housing association which did not repair a tenant’s leaking room with rainwater leaking down walls and cracks in every room; Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing which failed to resolve an infestation of silverfish; and Johnnie Johnson Housing which had to pay £1,800 compensation after a resident suffered verbal abuse, threats and intimidation at the hands of his neighbours.

Hackney council, Housing Plus Group (was Stafford Rural homes), Habinteg Housing, Shepherd’s Bush Housing, Southern Housing, Onward Homes, Catalyst, and PA Housing, are the others to have been criticised.

Ten per cent of homes in the social rented sector failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard in 2021-22, with 177,000 social homes affected by damp, according to statistics from the English Housing Survey published earlier this month.

Gove announced last month that he will block government funding to any housing provider that breaches the Regulator of Social Housing’s consumer standards until they can prove they are a responsible landlord, with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing the first provider to be sanctioned.

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  • George Dawes

    Toties just as bad , last few years shown that the whole political system needs a great reset

    They’re supposed to work for us not against us

    Expenses claiming parasites

  • icon

    Social housing is where the problems lay, but there again look at the kind of tenants they tend to house these days

  • icon

    Why would it matter being named & Shamed by a Shameless Housing Secretary.
    Yes he can withhold funding from Housing Association’s, hmm! how does that improve the quality of the property ?.
    This is a kin to Licensing Schemes taking millions out of the Private Rented Sector in every Borough when the economy is in an awful state and the money should be used for improving the property instead.
    I would be in favour of the Licensing Schemes if the Council’s were paying for their own Administration, we have enough to pay for, so as it stands they are just leaches.
    Just like the Housing Secretary withholding funds on Housing Association's, (I am not singing their praises either).
    Then handing £14’000’000.00 to Council’s to attack more landlords and do further damage to Private Landlords. Shame on you.


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