Disreputable claims management companies, often claiming to be from ‘the housing’ or working on the landlord’s behalf, are increasingly approaching social housing customers offering to ‘help them claim compensation for repairs not carried out’. In reality, these companies are not trying to help others but to make money for themselves. The legal action that ensues can end up being very stressful and costly for customers, some of whom are elderly or vulnerable, who end up receiving little, if anything, financially at the end of the legal action. The practice is unfortunately a growing problem throughout the housing sector and we want to alert people to it, particularly as people may be particularly vulnerable to these false promises when they are currently struggling with the cost of living.
Instead, we encourage customers to always talk to their landlord in the first instance if they have repairs that need doing or if previous work has not been carried out satisfactorily (whether that be a housing association or the local council), so that issues can be resolved quickly and effectively. We would also encourage people to always check the identity of callers at their door, ask to see ID and certainly don’t sign anything until first speaking to their landlord.
Mark Pearson, Chief Executive, Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association