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| 1 minute read

New Housing Ombudsman Insight report on service charges and the Ombudsman's jurisdiction

A new report by the Housing Ombudsman has outlined what he expects from landlords in the administration of service charges.

The new report sets out key information detailing the role of the Ombudsman, the court and the First Tier Tribunal ('FTT') helpfully including a table distinguishing between complaints that the Ombudsman might consider and those disputes that should be sent to the FTT. The report also  sets out key lessons from formal investigations.

The report states; 

'We urge landlords to use this report as an opportunity to focus on what good complaint handling looks like on charges to provide better customer service, improved signposting and expectation management around charges, as well as to familiarise themselves with our guidance on this important subject.

This report is timely given survey results from the Social Housing Action Group revealing that almost 90% of tenants experienced high service charges compared to the service they were provided with and, showed that over 40% of respondents claimed they were being charged for services that did not apply to their home.

The report sets out other failures including landlord's shortcomings in the Section 20 procedure and giving examples of landlords being 'heavy handed' when responding to complaints.

There is a clear emphasis on whether landlords are able to charge for particular services or not and that reference must be paid to tenancy agreements. Where mistakes are made these must be addressed.

A copy of the report can be found here;


If you would like any further information on this, please contact Samantha Grix.





housing management & property litigation, property management, social housing, housing associations, landlords, registered providers, property managers, housing sector