A report by the Housing Ombudsman has found “severe maladministration” in Homes for Haringey’s handling of leaks, damp and mould at a vulnerable woman’s flat.

The ombudsman said the resident experienced “unexplained delays” and received no support from the council’s housing arm, despite complaining that she had been hospitalised because the problems were affecting her health.

Homes for Haringey was told to pay £600 in compensation for the failings. It has accepted the ombudsman’s findings and says it will carry out a review of its repair system.

The ombudsman’s report reveals the resident, a leaseholder referred to as Ms K, complained to landlord Homes for Haringey about a leak into her bedroom from the roof above in 2018, the first of several leaks reported over a two-year period.

Some of these leaks were not repaired, and last year Ms K told the landlord she had been in hospital after spending the last two months in a damp flat with two leaks and mould on the walls.

She said the condition of the property was affecting her health conditions, she had been hospitalised twice, and the damp had spread across the whole ceiling. Ms K said the flat was becoming uninhabitable, and she needed to stay at home because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When she did not receive an update on the progress of the repairs, Homes for Haringey told her its contractors had been affected by the pandemic and were waiting for government guidelines to relax to be able to resume their full duties.

After the leaks were finally fixed in early 2021, the landlord apologised for the poor service and noted that there had been poor communication between contractors. It offered the resident £100 in compensation, but she was unhappy with the response and contacted the ombudsman.

The ombudsman’s report found “severe maladministration by the landlord in respect of its handling of the resident’s reports of leaks, damp and mould at the property, and maladministration for its handling of the complaint and record keeping”.

It states that Homes for Haringey was “clearly aware” of the woman’s vulnerabilities and should have taken steps to support her.

As well as telling Homes for Haringey to pay compensation, the ombudsman ordered it to take a number of actions to deal with the repairs and review how it responds to the recommendations of its tenant panel.

A Homes for Haringey spokesperson apologised “for all the distress this situation has caused to the leaseholder”.

They added: “The works in this particular case were impacted due to the global pandemic, which contributed to the delay in completing the repairs, but there are areas where our service could have been better.

“Although we have a system in place to record all notes relating to that repair, we will review this system to make sure that all resident concerns are logged at the point they are made.”

The spokesperson added that Homes for Haringey now reviews and follows up on repairs, and it is currently undergoing a “transformation programme” to ensure its policies and procedures “go beyond minimal legal requirements and are genuinely customer-focused”.