Hastoe aims to provide good quality services that meet the needs of residents and promote sustainability. Services are susceptible to random failure and from time to time things go wrong. When something goes wrong it is reasonable to wait for it to be repaired or rectified. Claims for Compensation will only be considered if the length of wait is unreasonably long or the loss causes unreasonable inconvenience. The target for responding to each stage of the Compensation procedure is 21 days from formal notice that the claimant wishes the claim to proceed.
The Compensation Policy and Procedure will apply when:
- A claim for compensation is received
- A manager investigating a complaint under the Complaints Policy and Procedure recommends compensation to resolve the complaint.
All properties require repairs and improvements from time to time and some inconvenience is unavoidable. The degree of disruption will vary depending on the type of work undertaken and the occupier’s ability and willingness to put up with it. Hastoe acknowledges that there is a stage beyond which some form of compensation is appropriate. Hastoe considers each claim for compensation on its merits. There is no right to compensation and claims do not always result in the offer of a payment.
Key Points of Policy
Claims will normally be made in writing to the regional office. If a claim is made by telephone, or in person, it will be confirmed in writing and action to respond to the claim will only start when a signed and dated copy of the letter is returned to the office. Hastoe will arrange assistance with audio, signing, interpreting or any other special needs, provided advance notice is given.
Claims must be raised within a reasonable time scale. Hastoe will not normally investigate a claim if it is about something the claimant knew about for more than six months before contacting the Association.
The key criteria for claiming compensation are:
- Services normally provided are absent,
- Failure of service causes distress,
- Residents suffer loss due to the failure to deal satisfactorily with repairs,
- Residents suffer loss due to other failures of service,
- Residents have to spend excessive time and trouble achieving a solution to a complaint.
Compensation will not normally be paid for
- lack of service or loss of facility due to circumstances beyond the control of Hastoe or Hastoe’s agents (for example, services provided by statutory undertakings)
- lack of service or loss of facility due to resident negligence
- damage to goods or property unless the damaged item is retained for the association to inspect
- damage or loss for which recompense is available through Hastoe’s insurers in which case the insurer’s timescales will apply
If a claim is successful compensation will be made in one of the following ways:
- Automatic adjustment will be made for any disruption to communal services on estates or to blocks of flats when variable service charges are reviewed each year
- Residents are entitled to claim compensation for loss of facilities if on two occasions a contractor fails to complete repairs within a specified period. The list of qualifying repairs, the target times for their completion and the calculation of the amount of compensation payable are in Hastoe’s Repair and Maintenance Policy, a copy of which can be obtained from any regional office.
- Should circumstances for which Hastoe is responsible result in the loss of use of part or all of a resident’s home compensation will be paid through a reduction in rent or other charges relating to the period during which the room or rooms cannot be used. Loss of use of part or all of the home must be reported to Hastoe immediately.
- Claims for compensation for damage to or loss of personal property or inconvenience will be considered on their merits.
Where residents are in arrears compensation payments will normally be made direct to their rent or service charge accounts.
Claims for compensation will first be directed to the person responsible for the area of work that is the subject of the claim. This is most likely to be the Area Housing Manager or Maintenance Surveyor. If the claimant is not satisfied with the response he or she can ask for the claim to be reviewed by the Regional Housing Manager, the Maintenance Manger or the Manager responsible for the area of work that is the subject of the claim.
Anyone dissatisfied with Hastoe’s response to his or her claim may appeal to the Director responsible for the service that is the subject of the claim. Appeals should be made in writing. If, having received the Director’s response, they are still not satisfied they may appeal to the Board who will appoint a panel of two Board members and the Chief Executive, or such other people as the committee considers appropriate, to consider the appeal. If the complainant is not satisfied with the panel’s response he or she may then contact the Independent Housing Ombudsman by post at Norman House, 105 – 109 The Strand, London WC2R 0AA or by email through www.ihos.org.uk
The Director of Operations will report annually to the Management Committee the number of claims for compensation received and their outcome.
Equality and Diversity
Hastoe will take all possible steps to provide equal opportunities for all people. We are opposed to discrimination on any grounds including race, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age or other unjustifiable criteria.