Resident Waits Eight Years To Have Leak Fixed

Ombudsman calls Shepherds Bush Housing Group's response 'appalling'

Shepherds Bush Housing is based in Mullinar House in Chiswick

A person living in a shared ownership property whose landlord was Shepherds Bush Housing has had to wait eight years for a leak in their roof to be fixed.

The resident spent several years complaining about a serious leak, with the landlord taking almost a decade to find where water was dripping through.

The housing association, which is based in Chiswick but manages 5,000 properties across nine boroughs in London, took two years to process the resident’s complaints and only now is the roof finally being replaced, according to an Ombudsman investigation.

The housing watchdog found the landlord delayed repair works, causing years of distress. Shepherds Bush Housing had also not kept its records properly – making it difficult for the watchdog to properly investigate.

The landlord has since apologised for the delays and offered compensation, but it did not solve the leak. It will offer more compensation once the issue is finally sorted.

Richard Blakeway, from the Housing Ombudsman, said, “It is appalling and unacceptable that any resident should live with a serious problem with their home for eight years.

“The prolonged distress and disruption could have been avoided. We recognise that the landlord took some action. However, poor communication, lack of records and failure to take reasonable steps to put things right, undermined the landlord’s response and exacerbated the disruption experienced by the resident.

“The poor record-keeping was deeply unsatisfactory and limited our ability to thoroughly investigate the complaint. By agreeing to revisit the compensation offered once the issue was resolved, the landlord acknowledged that the compensation was not proportionate, however, its response did not put matters right and works remained outstanding.”

In response to the issue Shepherd’s Bush Housing has introduced a new team to focus on major works and has promised to improve its case management, communication and how it handles complaints.

A Shepherds Bush Housing spokesperson said, “We apologise unreservedly for the distress and inconvenience caused to the resident directly impacted by this incident.

“The case in question dates back a number of years and should have been resolved much sooner.

“Recently, our Executive Team have committed to completing a number of actions to ensure preventative measures are in place, in order to avoid a similar situation occurring again.”

The landlord added: “We would like to apologise unreservedly to our customer who was impacted in this case. The roof replacement is currently being mobilised for completion this year and we have complied with the Housing Ombudsman’s orders.”

Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter

July 11, 2022