THE Housing Ombudsman has found Ealing Council guilty of severe maladministration after a nine-month delay in resolving a resident’s complaint about repairs to a sixth-floor flat.

The Ombudsman was forced to issue a Complaint Handling Failure Order to get the council to issue a response.

The complaint concerned a leak which the resident believed was coming from the flat above.

The council, as the landlord, visited both flats and made some repairs, but the resident reported the issue was still ongoing and made a complaint two months later.

In the following six months, she kept in touch with the council but it provided no update.

It took the Ombudsman to intervene.

The resident then escalated her complaint but did not receive a response until nine months later, leaving the problems unresolved.

It was only when the Ombudsman issued the council with a Complaint Handling Failure Order that it sent a formal response.

The Ombudsman ordered Ealing to pay the resident £1,225 in compensation, update its records with vital information about the case and ensure it is compliant with the Complaint Handling Code.

Ealing Council says it has now overhauled its complaints handling and is seeking a new contractor to improve services.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “I welcome the landlord’s response to this case and urge the sector to learn wider lessons on the Complaint Handling Code and the implications for not getting it right.”