All Case Studies

Leak (March 2023)

Mr A. was unhappy with our handling of a complaint regarding timely resolution of a leak and decision not to offer compensation in respect of damage caused to their flooring.


Mr A called us to report a blockage affecting the kitchen sink. He managed to rectify the blockage during the call. However, he expressed concern that something was wrong with the plumbing, as the bathroom sink had been blocked a few times the previous month. The following day we sent a contractor to the property, who gave the kitchen sink the “all clear”. However the leak continued for a prolonged time and damaged Mr A’s contents, especially the flooring. Mr A continued to stress that there was an issue with the pluming in the property.

We responded to Mr A and apologised for the inconvenience and distress caused. We understood that the contractors had attended and works had been completed. We advised if there was any further damage, it would ask the contractors to reattend. Our decision was not to replace or pay for new floor covering as Mr A should claim on his home contents insurance. For the delays in resolving the leak and for the poor complaints handling, we awarded Mr A, £100 in compensation.

Mr A.  then referred the matter to the Housing Ombudsman Service (HOS).


  • maladministration in relation to Poplar HARCA’s response to the leak
  • maladministration in relation to Poplar HARCA’s complaint handling
  • service failure in respect of record keeping


A meeting has been arranged between our Head of Repairs and Head of Resident Experience to improve communication between the relevant departments and avoid communication failures in future. Roll out Customer Care and Complaints training for staff with a focus on complaints handling and record keeping.

Recommendation from the HOS

Review staff training regarding their application of its customer care policy, in order to ensure their appropriate recording of, handling of and responses to complaints. Provide resident with details of affordable contents insurance, or to another service who may advise on this matter.