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Housing Ombudsman finds severe maladministration at Torus Housing Association

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Housing Ombudsman finds severe maladministration at Torus Housing Association

In a letter to Steve Coffey CEO Torus Housing Association, from the Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities found excessive delays by the Torus Housing Association in responding to a resident’s complaint about damp and mould.

The Ombudsman found that Torus failed to respond to the resident’s complaint about mould in his home resulting in him having to sleep on the floor after his bed was damaged by the damp. The communication with the resident was poor and he had repeatedly contacted the Housing Association to ask for an update.

Despite the scale of the problem, Torus did not start works until an extraordinarily long time had passed

  • Nine months after the initial complaint was made. He was wrongly advised that he would have to wait eight weeks before he could take his complaint to the Housing Ombudsman. This is simply unacceptable.
  • The Government’s new guidance on damp and mould makes landlords’ responsibilities clear – Torus must take residents’ concerns about health and safety seriously.
  • Awaab’s Law, which was introduced in the landmark Social Housing Regulation Act 2023, requires landlords to investigate and fix reported health hazards within specified timeframes.
  • The new rules will form part of a tenancy agreement, so that tenants can hold landlords to account by law if they fail to provide a decent home.

Torus has made some changes, including strengthening your approach to complaints, introducing briefings, improving accountability, recruiting a new team, and updating their approach to damp and mould.

He has also sent copies of the letter to Charlotte Nichols MP, Andy Carter MP, Councillors Hans Mundry and Nigel Balding, the Housing Ombudsman, and the Select Committee for Levelling Up, Housing
and Communities.

The Landlord Performance report is available in pdf here

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