Housing Ombudsman inspection report recognises improvement in council services

11 January 2024

Written by: Lambeth Council

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The Housing Ombudsman has published a report on Lambeth Council following a visit last year to inspect our complaints handling process.

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Housing Ombudsman inspection report recognises improvement in council services

The Ombudsman report highlights progress in the way the council deals with complaints, finding that there had been “significant transformation” in the last 12 months and that senior leadership had introduced a “culture of accountability and ownership” in our services at all levels.

The report recognised improvements in dealing with previous practice that had fallen below the required standard, for example in reducing overdue complaints from 2,283 in April 2022 to 154 in November 2023. The report also set out that more work needed to be done so all residents could see the benefit of these improvements consistently and so that the pace of improvement continued. The report makes a series of recommendations to enable this to happen, which have been accepted by the council.

The full report is available here.

Cllr Maria Kay, Cabinet Member for Better Homes and Reducing Homelessness said:

 “We welcome this report by the Housing Ombudsman following an inspection that took place in October last year. The council engaged fully with the inspection team and we have used this process to positively identify areas of improvement in our services to residents. We accept the findings and commit to delivering the recommendations within three months.

“We have apologised for the failings identified in the complaints that led to this inspection and have fixed the issues that impacted residents as well as paying compensation to them.

“In the last year, the council has worked intensively with the Housing Ombudsman and with residents to improve the way we respond to complaints and tackle any issues raised, to ensure we provide the best possible service to all tenants and leaseholders.

“We’re pleased that the Ombudsman has recognised that the council has made significant changes to remedy past failings. The report acknowledges the “significant transformation” that has taken place in the last 12 months and recognised the introduction of a “culture of accountability and ownership” in our services at all levels.

“We have made changes to senior leadership, introduced more robust governance arrangements, reviewed all high-risk complaints and put in place better lines of communication between complaints staff, neighbourhood officers and repairs contractors to help ensure we can remedy repairs as quickly as possible.

“This work has seen overdue complaints reduce from 2,283 in April 2022 to 154 in November 2023, and this improvement has been recognised by the Ombudsman report. We know there is much still to do to deliver the quality and consistency of services that residents deserve, but the improvements recognised in this report show that that work is underway and it will continue.

“Improving our housing services for residents is a top priority for the council, as we are one of the largest council landlords in the country. However, the scale and condition of our housing stock, much of it built in the 1960s and 1970s, makes this very challenging, particularly when government policy has moved away from investing in improving social housing.

“We are fully committed to improving all the homes that the council manages, but record construction inflation, government funding cuts and restrictions on council income all make that much harder. We will continue to lobby the government to invest in good, warm, affordable and sustainable homes, while carrying out the improvements necessary to deliver a better service for Lambeth residents.”


Following a thorough review by the Housing Ombudsman last October, Lambeth Council has been working hard to make sure its services are better aligned with what residents expect and deserve. The council has produced a report demonstrating the actions it has taken so far in response to the Ombudsman’s recommendations.

This report isn’t just about meeting official standards; it’s about making real changes that residents can feel and see.