The number of tenants in Housing Association properties asking us for help after they have difficulties getting repair works completed satisfactorily has been escalating.

In one recent case, a tenant had tried for two years to get a faulty plumbing job fixed.  Contractors visited on numerous occasions to inspect damp ceiling patches and explain them away.  Others could see there was a problem, but they were only there to inspect and not fix.  Eventually the ceiling partly collapsed, flooded the kitchen and so damaged the white goods and decorated kitchen.  The tenant applied for compensation and was refused on the grounds that the Housing Association had done all necessary works in good time.  We did not agree, and helped the tenant put in a formal complaint so that they had recourse to the ombudsman.

They have just resolved the case, with the Housing Association paying almost twice what the tenant had originally asked for. We believe tenants should not spend months trying to get repair works completed, and while the Council accepts little responsibility for dealing with housing association problems, we try to assist with complaints as far as we can.

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