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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Are you able to explain the situation in a little more detail?
In particular you mention a shared owner. What is the shared owner an owner of? What kind of complaint has been made and by whom?
The situation is that there is a dispute between the shared owner and the service provider (housing association) and I need to know if it can be escalated to the Housing Ombudsman if the shared owner remains unsatisfied with the formal complaint response.
Thank you that helps a great deal. This is a shared ownership property where the owner owns a share of the property and the housing association owns the remainder? Is the dispute regarding service charges or failure to repair or something else?
The dispute concerns the lease whereby it stated that the maximum administration fee charged by the housing association was 15%
of the cost of services. They have now changed this to a flat fee and say this comes under their cost of services ie 'all expenditure of the landlord in connection with the repair maintence and provision of services. The flat fee is 5 times the previous 15%.
Thank you. This is a dispute that is eligible for referral to the Housing ombudsman if you are unable to resolve the dispute directly with the housing association concerned. the Housing ombudsman has powers to hear complaints with regards ***** ***** the housing association provides under the lease including costs associated with the same. in order to be eligible, you will need to be able to demonstrate:
1) that you have followed the housing associations formal complaints procedure and the you are not satisfied with the outcome.
2) That following the outcome of the formal complaints procedure, you have contacted a " designated person" about your complaint. A designated person can either be a local councillor, your MP, or a local tenants panel. the designated person can either try to assist themselves or advise you that they cannot assist and then referred the matter to the Housing ombudsman. the Housing ombudsman will then deal with you directly.
Thats brilliant thanks. I think it is also covered by the HAC code of conduct whereby Housing Associations are obliged to be fair to customers which would suggest they cannot rely on small print or a legal interpretation of a lease.
3) if you do not want to contact a designated person as above, you do not have to but if you choose not to, you have to wait eight weeks between the end of the formal complaints process of the housing association before the housing ombudsman can considered your complaint
you can commence your complaint with the Housing ombudsman using the following link online if you wish:http://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/complaint-form/
OK Joshua thanks and completely understood. Thats fine and you are all done with me for now.
remember to keep all correspondence you have had with the housing association because the housing ombudsman want to see some of it
A pleasure. Good luck with your complaint.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
Yes we have an audit trail.
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Ok will do