Cllr Zoe Nolan says they must tackle anti social behaviour and repairs following failures over a 4 year period
Loughton & Shenley councillor Zoe Nolan has welcomed the decision by the Housing Ombudsman against huge Social Housing landlord the Guinness Partnership, including an award of damages for distress and inconvenience. The decision related to the failure by Guinness Partnership to tackle anti social behaviour in Grange Farm over a 4 year period.
Cllr Nolan said, “The Guinness Partnership is a huge national Social Housing landlord and has 66,000 homes. They need to ensure they serve all communities and listen to local tenants. Clearly in this case the Ombudsman found that they failed to act on the genuine concern of tenants for 4 years. I think that this highlights the problem of a large remote national landlord not valuing or listening to their tenants.”
She added, “I was pleased to support the residents of Grange Farm who were suffering anti- social behaviour. But I am aware there are other colleagues who have problems with the response of the Guinness Partnership to issues such as repairs. I think that we need a local review of how the Guinness Partnership operates in Milton Keynes. I have asked the Council’s Housing Scrutiny committee to investigate the performance of this landlord and to call for evidence on the performance of all national Registered Social landlords operating in Milton Keynes. I would suggest they need to take evidence from the tenant and leaseholders of such landlords.”
Sally Newton, former resident said “I’m delighted that we’ve got this ruling from the Ombudsman. Our block of flats has been exposed to violence and crime with Guinness repeatedly taking no action. I hope that this ruling will make Guinness aware that they have to protect the rights of all of their tenants and I hope our success will inspire other dissatisfied tenants to take action against ineffective management at housing associations. I would like to thank Councillor Zoe Nolan for all her help and support in raising this complaint with the Ombudsman on our behalf.”
Cllr Nolan concluded, “I want to know that all social housing landlords listen to their tenants and respond to them. Guinness failed to do so and the Ombudsman has acted. We now need to ensure that the Guinness Partnership and other large national Social landlords operating in Milton Keynes deliver good services and listen to their tenants.”