Ellie Ames 20 February 2024

Council appeared to be in ‘crisis management mode’

Council appeared to be in ‘crisis management mode’ image
Image: lbhf.gov.uk

‘Multiple and repeated’ failures by Hammersmith and Fulham Council left residents feeling ‘anything but secure in their homes’, a special investigation has found.

Between May and September 2023, the Housing Ombudsman found a maladministration rate of 88% in 33 cases involving the London borough.

Most issues related to repair and complaint handling. Cases include windows that could not be closed, part of a window frame falling into a garden, and ceiling debris falling onto a child.

Residents reported detrimental impacts on their mental and physical health and said they feared being injured. Some also had to spend extra keeping their properties heated in winter, or paid for independent inspections to progress repairs.

Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway said: ‘The landlord appeared to be operating in crisis management mode for a few years.’

The council said: ‘We are truly sorry and reiterate our deepest regrets to those residents affected. We have apologised, compensated, and worked hard to rectify where we let people down.’

The Ombudsman has made 138 orders to improve and 32 recommendations. It said Hammersmith and Fulham has already sought to improve in the areas identified.

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