Local Housing Allowance & Nottingham City Council’s Housing Benefit Team

May 4th 2011

The Council's Housing Benefit Team has been extremely slow in processing claims. Claims are taking over 17 weeks to process. Recently there have a number of complaints made by landlords and tenants to the Ombudsman. This has resulted in the Housing Benefits Service as being seen as a failing service.....

 

The Council have now been advised or instructed by the Ombudsman Service to pay every landlord and tenant, whose application is not processed within a 4 week period, an award of £25 per month over the initial 4 week period. In other words if the claim takes 20 weeks it would be considered to be 4 months over the 4 week period therefore a payment of £100 would be given to both the landlord and the tenant. Effectively this is the Council using tax payers money to pay a late penalty for its own incompetence. At a time when public cuts are destroying local services this seems absurd. This type of mismanagement of resources only confirms to many of us how poorly some of our services are run.

 

If you are a landlord that is waiting for an application to be processed or one of your tenants has been waiting and it is effecting your rent then we advice you to make a complaint. This is the procedure to follow:

 

 

By making complaints to the Ombudsman the intention is that the Council will begin to adhere to the guidelines that have been set by which all Local Authorities should adhere to. The Council continues to push enforcement and expensive regulatory legislation onto the public of Nottingham whilst it continues to operate well below standard in the delivery of its services. The only way that this will change is if the Council is held accountable for the way it operates.